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Gun rights group wants PM to probe FLA resignation

Damion Mitchell
Assistant News Editor

The National Gun Rights Association (NGRA) wants the Prime Minister to probe the resignation of the Board of the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA).

The five-member authority resigned last Wednesday with immediate effect causing a suspension in the issuance of gun permits.

They decided to step aside following a letter from the National Security Minister Senator Dwight Nelson raising concerns about the number of gun permits being granted, which they considered to be offensive.

In a release this morning, the National Gun Rights Association (NGRA) said it was alarmed at the sudden resignation of the FLA board.

Shawn Johnson, the association chairman says his group has been pleased with increased efficiency of the FLA.

According to Johnson, in recent times more firearm licenses have been approved allowing more Jamaicans to be better able to protect themselves and their properties.

The former FLA board members say they have only and would only issue firearm licenses where the applicants meet the stipulated requirements.

However, Senator Nelson is maintaining that he is not comfortable with the increase in the number of firearm permits being issued.

For the first five months of this year, the FLA issued 1,197 gun permits up from the 621 for the first five months of 2009.

The increase in the number of gun permits coincided with an increase in the call for people to legally arm and protect themselves as the murder tally climbed.

The Firearm Licensing Authority was established in 2005 by an Act of Parliament to regulate the issuing and revocation of gun permits.

damion.mitchell@gleanerjm.com