Government to introduce new gun laws

The Roosevelt Skerrit-led Government will clamp down on illegal firearm owners within its first six months in office.

The administration is expected to introduce new firearms legislation in parliament which will increase the powers of the Dominica Police Force and the court systems to respond to persons found in possession of illegal firearms.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit discussed the issue at a meeting with members of the private sector this week.

“The government of Dominica will be taking some strong decisions with respect to national security and security of the states. We will be going to parliament within the next six months of this government to enact legislation to strengthen the hands of the police and courts in respect to persons who have illegal firearms in this country. We had an amnesty, two people took advantage of it; so if you know anybody who has an illegal firearm, tell them to bring it to the police as soon as possible,” the prime minister told the meeting.

According to the leader, the penalty will be great for anyone found in possession of an illegal firearm. He issued a warning that such persons could be sent straight to jail.

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  1. Young n' Strapped
    April 10, 2010

    Everyone had the right to protect themselves, so wat gonna happen wen i bring my gun for them police and a next man pull his on me to try to rob me ? i jus gonna let them take my s*** ? get a job for me so i wouldnt have to sell wat allu call drugs and then i will give dem police my tool. ya that soundin ignorant but so it is

  2. London
    February 17, 2010

    @Staffy, What has businesses opening on a sunday got to do with firearm laws??? Businesses being open on a Sunday is good for the economy, gives people jobs so they can look after their family! People like you want to keep DA in the dark ages

  3. guadaman
    January 17, 2010

    good move but please let it be enforced when it bcome law,i was in a certain village and u know what i saw a young man not even 18,yet he had a gun and i mean a gun this man cannot even buy a shoe to put on his feet but he has a gun. A guy was caught entering dominica from guadeloupe with some boxes of bullets and was charged,and set free,this man should be in prison si e pa ni souterer e pa ni voler,on carnival in a certain village u hear gun shorts like bandits,thats too bad we realy cannot afford that in D A

  4. An Eye
    January 17, 2010

    The concept of gun ownership should be addressed by the Constitution and regulated by a unified parliament, supported by a fair and sustained process of legal redress. This initiative as advocated by Mr. Skerrit is a sign in the right direction. Though the right to bear arms has never been an issue in Dominica, the changing social environment stimulated by international migration and trade have created a worrisome phenomenon. Gun control in a country with unguarded borders may be come a monumental challege, and warrants the integration and utilization of all state resources. Central to this effort would be the curtailment of drug trafficking to and out of the island through active policing. Dominicans should not allow the country to become unlivable and unattractive because of a few criminal elements, and must wrestle that opportunity from them. Dominica cannot must never allow this beautiful and unspoiled Caribbean paradise to fall victim to banditry and unconscientious principles. The police will need the help of the locals. Please support this initiative.

  5. Eliyah
    January 16, 2010


    This is a one sided approach. We have so many unsolved and unresolved criminal cases, it is appalling. Take this actual instance.

    A salisbury business owner was ambushed and shot while leaving his business (over 1 year ago i believe {subject to correction}. The case I was told has not yet been heard and the perpetrators are out on bail. They are at large in the same community as their vicitm. Also I was told, the business owner has been trying to obtain a legal firearm to protect himself and his right to do lawful business in the country of his citizenship with no success.

    Now that you have read this; Are the tighter gun control laws going to address this situation?

    Consider this: Lets say that a law abiding citizen under threat who feels deprived of adequate protection from law enforcement (and who is denied legal access to a legal firearm to protect himself and his property) turns to gun dealers to obtain one outside the law. Does he deserve the same punishment as a criminal whose illegal weapons were retrieved after he had commited a crime with them?

    Also consider this: Wouldn’t it be more effective to regularize illegal gun owners (ie invite them to register their weapons and attend mandatory training including preparing incident reports wenther the gun is used, as well as turning the guns in for quick inspection every quarter or as often as it is used) while trying to toughen laws for tackling criminal possession?

    As I have said in a comment regarding the recently concluded elections: If you set a goal for yourself and a strategy to achieve it, but when you execute your strategy you failed to achieve your goal, then your strategy was not developped using sound information. That is why freedom and uwp lost to labour and that is why the amnesty did not work and that is also why this tighter gun laws will also not work. This is because the new laws does not consider the attitudes of the legal professionals, the police, the various classes citizens (business, student, income groups, employed unemployed, self employed etc.) and the criminals in its formulation.

    May Yahweh open the eyes of our elected representaives that they see and their ears that they hear and their hearts that they may understand.

  6. January 15, 2010

    The laws are there but they need to be enforce.

    Take for instance, if someone is caught with a bullet, they can get up to 5 years imprisonment.

    Do you know that small businesses like shops, are not suppose to open on Sundays. Yet the people operate their businesses. Again enforcement.

    Its a good move but add up the real penalty to follow….. Like the magistrate ,YOU FOLLOW.

  7. jean Bef
    January 14, 2010

    I know that it is a good move and i applaud the move. Why are so many people making negative comments about making progress.Maybe when some criminal kill or hurt one of their family they will say the government should do something

  8. bunch-o-talk
    January 14, 2010

    Yeah, it all sounds good. But when the culprits reach in court its a whole different ball game. Yes they will be arrested and charged with illegal firearm possession, then the judge/magistrate will mitigate judgment and say, well he hasn’t killed anybody or he has a clean record, or he has children or a sick mother to feed. So the law will be there but with those incompetent, disappointing magistrates/judges we have in this country, the more things change, the more they remains the same.

  9. only
    January 14, 2010

    The criminals will always have guns. Disarming the general population is not the answer to solving the gun situation. Gun control has never proven to make the general population safer.
    It actually makes the general population less safe. Beware when the govt. wants you to turn in your guns and become disarmed. While not a fan of guns, they may come in handy if you ever become a victim, however, you also have to know how to use them, otherwise it could be detrimental to your situation.

  10. sum fing wrong
    January 14, 2010

    we need to stop the chineess business from stop selling real looking toy gun before sumbody get robbed or killed

  11. WAT BOY
    January 14, 2010

    Very good but to dent the problem the work will be awesome,since for too long the responsibilities turned a blind eye to this issue.Give the police the power to execute their job and send them out to each village,under every bed,in every wardrobe,under every pillow etc.

  12. serious consequences
    January 14, 2010

    Please, please take control before it gets out of hand like Trinidad, the modern day Western where gun shots go off like fire crackers during a celebration.

  13. Pipeline
    January 14, 2010

    Well to be honest and I dare anyone Oppose this but, if You (Mr Prime Minister) expect to implement such laws then what we NEED right now is a Maximum security Prison to house over 3000 inmates!, THEN yall can talk about such laws, because right now the judicial system is a joke. Sending man prison for 2 years for smoking marijuana, when rapist and child molesters getting 8months wth is that …

  14. Prophet2
    January 14, 2010

    I for one is in favor of a weaponless Earth but this will not happen until all of mankind (kind of a man) has attained Human Being status. But till then I say give them a fine so huge that they’ll have to spend a lifetime paying for possessing these kinds of illegal mortal weapons. You have to make it hurt.

  15. Confusion
    January 14, 2010

    Is the PM minister of National Security or Charles Severin? I wonder

  16. caribbean genius
    January 14, 2010

    Stricter laws not going to solve the problem of increasing crime, you cant kill a tree by chopping off the branches. You have to tackle the root of the problem. Poverty and lack of opportunities breed crime and violence. So solve these problems and then the crime part will fix as an indirect result of that..

  17. just a thought
    January 14, 2010

    yeah should be life sentence for anyone with an illegal firearm, or mandatory 25yrs to life depending on the number and type of firearm. Assault riffles AK47,M16, etc should have life also… make sure all you pass one for bullet possession cause an empty gun can’t kill and where there is smoke must be fire!!

  18. mouth of the south
    January 14, 2010

    how great is the penalty,,,,, hhhmmm i honestly believe that e’re body should be allowed to bear arms,,,, its not the guns that kill but the person behind the trigger,,,,,, yet if my wish were to be granted,,, we would have to deal with the fact that kids n young teenagers may have easy access to fire arms,,,,, then i suggest a survey of ones living condition be done b4 given license to bear arms,,,, such as a proper place of concealment,,,,,,,, in texas e’re body bear arms yet it has some of the lowest crime rate for any state in the u.s.a be mindful it is one of the largest and a few other states where bearing arms is legal,,,, dominicans believe it or not the bad guys will always have arms legal or illegal,,,, n that sad thing is they may commit crimes n escape even if taken to court,,,,,,, so its better a good citizen can defend his/her self instead of being left to perish,,,,,,,

  19. LCM
    January 14, 2010

    I cannot wait. It cannot come soon enough, Make it 10, 20, 50 to life

    Ten years prison if you are found in possesion with an illigal firearm, 20 yrs without bond if it is used in a crime and 50 to life if you kill someone. Plain and simple, and ensure enforcement and punishment.

    I tired complain of how the amnesty is a waste of time. Time to clean up our beautiful country.

    Look St. Lucia loosing money from tourism because of crimes against tourist. Lets not get to that.

    Put the tough talk into action.

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