Pharmacist sues over delay to get gun licence

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The Hall of Justice, Port of Spain. – File photo

A San Fernando pharmacist has received the court’s permission to challenge the delay by the police commissioner to decide on his provisional firearms user’s licence (FUL) which the police alleged appeared to be bogus.

On February 21, Justice Betsy Ann Lambert-Peterson granted leave to the businessman to pursue his judicial review claim.

The matter will come up for hearing on April 19.

In his application, the businessman said he applied for a provisional licence and FUL in 2021. He submitted the relevant documents to the police station in his district after the relevant investigations were completed as part of the application process. A recommendation for him to receive a FUL was made by the police investigator and he received his provisional licence.

However, when he tried to get the FUL, he was told the provisional licence “may be fraudulent” as the signature of the former commissioner appeared to have been forged and approval appeared to have been given at a time when the commissioner was no longer holding office.

He was told an investigation would have to be done on his file.

“The Commissioner of Police has adopted the position that the provisional licence issued was fraudulent and therefore no valid provisional licence has been issued to me to date,” his application contended.

This was in June 2023, and the businessman said he had not received an update since despite his attorneys sending letters to the commissioner for a decision on his licence.

“There has been no finding by the TTPS that the provisional license was issued fraudulently. The statements are merely speculative,” he contends.

“The Commissioner of Police has been provided sufficient time to complete any further investigation on the firearm file and the provisional licence ought to be issued forthwith.

“I contend that the delay of three years by the Commissioner of Police to render a decision is unreasonable in the circumstances of this case.

“I was investigated and the necessary reports were generated. There is no further action for the TTPS to complete before the issuance of the provisional licence.

“I applied for a provisional licence and I am entitled to a decision on my application,” his application said.

He is represented by attorneys Keron Ramkhalwhan, Shalini Sankar and Annesia Gunness.