Govt ‘working to clog gun loopholes’


Tribune Staff Reporter

PRIME Minister Philip “Brave” Davis said the United States of America has made headway toward decreasing the illegal trafficking of firearms to The Bahamas.

During her visit to The Bahamas last year, US Vice President Kamala Harris announced efforts to combat gun trafficking, adding that a coordinator for the Caribbean Firearms Prosecutions at the US Department of Justice will be appointed to help crack down on firearm smugglers.

Mr Davis said on Friday: “As I indicated to them, their right to bear arms does not translate to their right to trafficking in arms. I must say that they have been working to try to clog the loopholes that permits the easy trafficking of weapons.”

The murder rate is up 27 per cent compared to the same period last year, according to Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander.

Mr Davis highlighted the challenges with the US legal and political system in regards to gun trafficking.

“You have Congress and then you have executive and the whole system being federal as it is,” he said. “The challenge is to respond as quickly and as nimbly as we would expect. But the relationship has just been improved. We are cooperating, collaborating to lessen the flow of guns not just to The Bahamas but to our regions.”

Commissioner Fernander recently said courts are not imposing penalties that are stiff enough for gun offences.

“I always had a problem with the penalty,” he said. “It has to fit the crime. We know that firearm, this is what is driving a lot of the murders, the homicides and even in the armed robberies. You get found with a weapon and I’m looking at ten to 15 years.”