Top cop agrees to hold hand on gun dealer’s FUL

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Police Commissioner Erla Harewood-Christopher. File photo by Angelo Marcelle

POLICE Commissioner Erla Harewood-Christopher has agreed not to take any steps on the firearm user’s licences of a firearm dealer and five FUL holders for non-renewal.

The undertaking was given by the commissioner on May 2, to attorneys for gun dealer Towfeek Ali and the others who are challenging an alleged new policy for renewing of gun permits.

On April 19, the group received the court’s permission to review the CoP’s decision to deem invalid FULs not renewed during the period 2004-2024.

As part of their lawsuit, they sought an injunction to prevent the commissioner from taking steps to initiate criminal prosecution against affected FUL holders or seize their licences or firearms until the matter is resolved, the six also asked for an order that those FULs in existence before January 2024 which were not previously renewed are still valid until the court determines the matter.

However, the commissioner was only prepared to give an undertaking for the six. This means, her position does not cover the number of FUL holders in a similar position.

At the start of the year, the CoP announced that all FUL holders had to renew their permits, including those who were issued FULs before 2004, when the Firearms Act was amended.

However, FUL holders say if those FULs have been deemed invalid since 2007, then holders of licences before 2004, and those who received permits before 2021, would now need to make fresh applications since they cannot renew something that has become invalid.

Justice Ricky Rahim is presiding over the lawsuit.