The Parliament of Dominica has approved a new Firearms Act and under the legislation imitation firearms will be forbidden.
Concerns have been raised about the use of imitation firearms or toy guns, with some calling for a ban on the sale of the items.
Minister for National Security Charles Savarin described it as a “matter of grave concern”.
“At Christmas time persons have in their stores for sale imitation firearms which look very realistic. persons in fact use imitation firearms to commit offenses because the victims have no way of distinguishing whether in fact the persons threatening them are using a firearm capable of discharging a projectile or an imitation firearm which perhaps can and may even be able to make a sound,” Savarin said.
Savarin said items as toy guns will be ‘outlawed’ in the Dominican society, meaning that store owners will be prohibited from importing them. “We cannot import them, we cannot offer them for sale, and we cannot be in possession of these imitation firearms,” he stressed.
The new Firearms Act also means stiffer penalties for firearm related offenses including illegal possession and importation of firearms. The Act will provide for “mandatory sentencing” for whoever uses a firearm to threaten or assault public officers while executing their duties. A maximum of 15 years will apply to such a crime.
The Firearms Act forbids the discharge of firearm within 50 yards of any road and less than 50 yards from any house.
Copyright 2012 Dominica News Online, DURAVISION INC. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.