Ag CoP to FUL holders: Secure weapons properly to avoid theft

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Acting Police Commissioner McDonald Jacob. –

Acting Police Commissioner McDonald Jacob is calling on Firearm Users’ Licence (FUL) holders to act responsibly with their legal guns and take the necessary precautions to secure the weapons to avoid them falling into the hands of criminals.

Responding to a question on the adjournment of the Senate on Tuesday, National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds reported that 108 legally-issued guns were featured in serious crimes including four murders.

Contacted for comment, Jacob confirmed the figure given and noted that of the 108, 18 were recovered by the police.

He said the FUL holders were either robbed of the guns or lost them.

With the 18 firearms recovered, he said some of the alleged criminals were charged, and listed three incidents where the FUL holders themselves were also charged with negligence.

He said given the serious responsibility of having an FUL, the police intended to start a public-education campaign on the proper protocols of storing and carrying their weapons.

“Some of them (FUL holders) feel it is necessary to expose their firearms and not have it concealed, making them targets.

“In addition to that, some of them may choose to leave their firearms in vehicles and others may be involved in boasting among their friends about their firearm and the number of firearms they have, placing themselves at risk. So we want to ask them to stop that.

“What we see developing is the increase in the number of people being robbed of their firearms, and larceny of firearms which happens on a few occasions through home invasions.

“That is where I have the great concern and fear in the security landscape. Recently when I spoke about the risk, I was referring to people out there who may have at their home or businesses five, ten or 15 firearms which can create a serious dilemma for law enforcement if these occurrences continue.”

Jacob added that the police were concerned over reports of legal guns being stolen and used in crimes.

In July a 65-year-old man was robbed of his licenced gun in Guaico.

In October four bandits were shot and killed by police during a home invasion at a businessman’s Mayaro home.

Police said there were two licensed firearms in the businessman’s home which could have been stolen.