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Nov 15, 2019

Proposal for Decrease in Security Companies’ Gun License Fees

Chester Williams

On Thursday, the Belize Police Department held a meeting with about twenty-five registered gun dealers in the country. That meeting, led by Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, covered a number of proposed gun control measures, which could come into effect as early next year. The amendments to the Firearms Act, which include a revision of the number of ammunition a dealer can sell, are still under review. But another proposed change that is expected to go through is the reduction in the gun license fees for security companies. Earlier this year that fee was drastically increased by one hundred percent but now the parties involved want to bring it back down as early as January of next year. Here’s how Williams explains it.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“We had a number of complaints from security companies in that they were not able to pay the increase in fees. The fees were increased by a hundred percent. For us it makes good sense in the sense that here we are in a society where crime and violence are happening. Businesses are being robbed and we are increasing the fee for security companies to have firearms. Now, with the increase to the security company they would have to pass that increase on to the consumers which are the stores that they provide security for and the store will in turn pass it on to the lower consumers. But in some cases you find that due to the increase by the security company, the little stores cannot afford security anymore. So, that store is then left vulnerable. So, for us, we cannot be saying to the businesses to hire security and on the other hand you are increasing the fees to make it more difficult for them to hire security. So, I brought the matter to the Prime Minister and the national security and they both agreed that the fee should be reverted back to where it once was. The matter was tabled in Cabinet last week and I have been briefed that it was approved. So, effective January first next year the security fees will be reverted back to its original position.”

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