Categorized | National News


Before the law can be amendedto significantly increase the penalty for illegal gun possession, the country has to first tackle the demand for such weapons; National Security Marvin Dames told reporters last Thursday.


The Minister was responding to a group of five local bishops, calling him to “lead the war on guns by leading efforts to amend relevant legislation on gun violence.


Two weeks ago,  Bishops Simeon Hall, Victor Cooper, Greg Minnis, J. Carl Rahming, and Ross Davis blamed most of the senseless killings in recent times on illegal gun possession.


While Mr. Dames agrees, he said the issue is much deeper.


He said, “we have a very beautiful country. We often boast that The Bahamas is a country of some 700 islands stretched over some one  hundred thousand miles of sea. That’s good for advertising, but the threat to that is that people are able to bring in weapons very easily.”


He added, “ we have to target the traffickers, but we also have to reduce the demand, because there are persons out there who are operating legitimate businesses and feeding into that demand.


“As long as you have a demand, it’s like drugs. As long as it’s a demand, you’re going to find it available.”, he said.


Mr. Dames also said that the country needs to take a multi-prong approach to this issue.


He said, “we have been doing it through the use of technology, driving it through intelligence, working with our counterparts in the U.S. because the vast majority of the weapons are coming from the north.”


He added, “we’re also working with our partners in the various communities, working with civic groups, educating our young people on why guns are bad through the Guns and Gangs Unit, and we just have to continue to roll that out.”


The Minister noted that his ministry has seen some positive signs coming out of their efforts. However he said that one gun is one too many.


He added, “It can kill any number of persons until you get it off the streets. So, we’re committed. Yes, we have work to do, and I think that’s what Bishop Hall and others are saying, but we are committed and driven to get that work done.”


Written by Jones Bahamas

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