Businessmen could get weapons upgrade, police say
Stabroek News
July 18, 2002

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The Guyana Police Force is prepared to permit businessmen to upgrade their firearms to possibly shotguns to help them to safeguard their property, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported Tuesday.

President Bharrat Jagdeo, in an interview with Editor of Prime News, Adam Harris, said the force had indicated this to him as a part of the strategy to fight crime and enhance the feeling of security in Guyana, GINA stated.

"So the business community should take steps to upgrade their weapons and they should do this in an organised way, either through the Chamber of Commerce or some other body within the country, maybe the Guyana Manufacturers' Association, etc. These bodies could group them together and ensure that legitimate people get their weapons," GINA quoted the President as saying.

According to the law, GINA noted, no firearm licence holder should possess a weapon above .32 calibre, unless under special circumstances.

The President is also quoted by GINA as saying that the onus is on the business community to take the necessary steps to upgrade their weapons in accordance with the laws.

"You have to be very careful in the screening process. But I think that the business community, especially the organised bodies, should take steps to engage with the Commissioner of Police and the Minister of Home Affairs to have their weapons upgraded immediately," Jagdeo said.

When asked about the approach to the large number of illegal guns being used by criminals, the President, who is Commander of the Armed Forces, said that calling for people to hand in their guns does not necessarily work well, adding that the issue was discussed at the CARICOM Heads of Government 23rd Meeting in Georgetown and did not find much support from the experts, GINA stated.