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Jan 12, 2011

Loop in firearm act; no mention of homemade gun

dickie bradley

Three adults and a minor were charged last Friday for Keeping a Prohibited Firearm after police found a suspected homemade gun in a yard at Curl Thompson Street. The sixteen year old, pleaded guilty and the charges were withdrawn against the adults. The minor was kept in custody at the Youth Hostel pending sentencing, which was scheduled for Tuesday. But the case took a turn when attorneys for the minor questioned the Firearms Act which does not define a homemade gun. Attorney Dickie Bradley told News Five today that there was no evidence that the item found could discharge a bullet. So instead of facing a minimum of three years in jail, the minor was freed of the charge today. Bradley explained how the matter unfolded.

Dickie Bradley, Attorney

“I did not represent the young man but family members asked me to come on Tuesday and so I was submitting and making arguments that the charge of having a homemade firearm was contained in a statutory instrument, not in a law passed through the House of Representatives, the Senate and the Governor General and that there is something that is of concern in this particular case for two reasons. One, there is no definition of what is a homemade firearm. Normally, in the law it will say a firearm is any weapon or object or thing that can shoot out a bullet. There is no definition of what is a homemade firearm.  So I’m putting forward arguments and in fact the Chief Magistrate said, you know because of the legal matters that are arising, she is going to look a little further and set this morning for the matter. And in fact, it is her research, she is of the view—she is not making a legal ruling on the matter, but she is of the view as she said to myself and to attorney Anthony Sylvestre and to the prosecutor, Mr. Castillo, that there are some things that need to be clarified. She would like to know what would be the explanation and the answer to certain matters. Now I need to use those matters in a next case so I don’t want to say it all out here but in the light of what transpired in terms of the legality of the law, of the statutory instrument, of what is in the statutory instrument and the making of the statutory instrument, the Chief Magistrate did not rule. She did not make a final determination but she has expressed that this is a matter for her.

In any event, this morning justice was served in the sense that it would have been an injustice in my humble opinion to send that young man to three years imprisonment for a piece of board and a pipe, which no one can say can discharge a bullet, which was found in a yard which is not fully fenced behind wah old septic tank when several people live in that yard and there are neighbors and people who could pass through that yard, it would be difficult to convict that young man. 00:06:14 if it had gone to trial, Anthony Sylvestre would have won that case but this morning, as a consequence of what has been unfolding, the prosecution withdrew the charges against the young man.”

Because the minor’s mother has died, his father works at sea and he is not in school or employed, the Chief Magistrate gave a stern warning to his aunt, who was present, that he is on a dangerous path and needs to get it together. The youth has committed to doing something more constructive with his life.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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7 Responses for “Loop in firearm act; no mention of homemade gun”

  1. rootsman says:

    I guess the cops will need to test these so called home made firearms to verify that they can shoot a bullet before these cases are brought to court, that way they will have the evidence to prove their case.

  2. BZNinCALI says:

    Dickie, if this 16 year old is brilliant enough to make his own gun, his genius & creativity needs to be nurtured so that he can channel that brilliance into something positive. Never mind, we will wait until he shoots someone with his home made gun & have you convince the jury or magistrate that the victim committed suicide & the weapon flew away.

    What about representing Lavern?

  3. soldier says:

    What up with belize lawmakers?90% of politicians in belize are lawyers,and they cant define a home made weapon?

  4. Sugar says:

    How can someone be charged with something that does not esist in the lawbook?????/ sounds like the prosecution should go sit the Police test also….

  5. Justice says:

    I wonder if the sixteen year old had pointed the gun at Diclie to test if it can discharge a bullet, would Dickie would be saying this. Years ago i remebered traveling home from the US I had a plastic water gun and they took it away. Do you think the US would have argued if it can discharge a bullet? A gun is a gun is agun whether it is home made or not! The same way weed is weed no matter where it is planted or who plants it! It is ridiculous how attorneys fight to release criminlas back into the society. It might be thier way of earning money but always remeber you live by the gun you die by the gun. Not sure if they get extra protection by doing this. So many people are being murdered by people who theaten the witnesses and so they live a life crime and violence with more protection than the good citizens themselves. Nothing last forever!

  6. Leonardo NAYO Folgarite says:

    How can these kids afford an attorney like dickey or arnold? I can not even afford an attorney.

  7. Leonardo NAYO Folgarite says:

    Looks like the Smartest Man in the Corozal Convention was Kenard SMART with a $400000. contract in his pocket.
    I will be next for the PUP Convention.

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