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Feb 4, 2014

Attorney calls Firearms Act unconstitutional

Kareem Musa

The recent arrest, trail and conviction of Corporal Gino Peck have brought the Firearms Act into sharp focus. But the truth is that since the Act was amended in 2008 it has been the cause of great distress, with the perception that many innocent persons have been wrongly persecuted. The argument has run the gamut from the streets to the Courts to the House of Representatives, where there has been much heated debate on the new and “improved” Firearms Act. And now, there is heat coming from the legal fraternity. Last week Senior Counsel Simeon Sampson alluded to a Constitutional Motion addressing certain aspects of the Firearms Act, and the outcry continues to grow. Attorney Kareem Musa calls the Firearms Act unconstitutional right from the start, since instead of being innocent until proven guilty, persons caught in the web of the act are really guilty, until proven innocent.


Kareem Musa, Attorney

“When you are swept up from this house that an ammunition may have been found, you are taken to the Queen Street Police Station and you are held there for forty-eight hours; that is your first detention. Many families don’t realize that after that forty-eight hours, you will spend another fourteen days. So that is just the start of your vacation really. It is not forty-eight hours you will spend, it is fourteen days. So it doesn’t matter if it is one two three; it doesn’t matter if you are a grandfather or a grandmother or a high school child who may have CXCs the following day; the law doesn’t care. It would actually then take you to the magistrate’s court and because of the way the law is structured, the magistrate has absolutely no discretion. So any offence under the firearm act—we are talking whether it is an unlicensed ammunition, we are talking whether you are a licensed holder. If you are a licensed holder and somebody goes and makes an allegation, oh Mike pull a gun pan mi, it could just be totally malicious; but the law does not care. The first thing that will happen to you is that you will be sent up and it is a mandatory fourteen days that you will have to spend there. Many poor people that cannot afford an attorney will not spend fourteen days; they will spend ninety days because that is what the law says. So it is different, it is discriminatory if you ask me. It discriminates against poor people because they cannot afford to get a lawyer to get them out of jail in fourteen days. And I mean just the mere fact that you are taking somebody to prison right off the bat; that to me shows that there is a direct contravention of somebody’s constitutional rights because the constitution says at clause six that you are presumed innocent until you are proven guilty. The last time I checked, being sent to jail is not a treat; that’s a punishment. You are treating people like criminals. So right off the bat, you are not presumed innocent, you are going to be sent to the place where criminal live. you are going to be sent to Hattieville prison. That hold presumption of innocence is no longer there. You are now automatically treated as guilty. There is no longer this opportunity that you can go tell the magistrate; magistrate you know what, I just was visiting the premises. I had no knowledge that an ammunition was in that attic. The magistrate cannot hear your cries, they cannot hear your pleas for mercy; they cannot be lenient with you because the law as amended in 2008 under the crime and control act, the law as amended says that the magistrate now cannot grant you bail so long as you are charged under the Firearms Act.”


We’ll have more from Musa in Wednesday’s newscast, as he touches on other aspects of the Firearms Act.

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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2 Responses for “Attorney calls Firearms Act unconstitutional”

  1. LOL says:

    our government is unconstitutional too

  2. gorilla grip says:

    jus a stupid law period but wen ppl dnt kno der rights an think that a stupid law like that stop crime they r disillusion wit that law anyone can b malicious acuse you an ur going up to jail police can say dey find a bullet an up you go ur word against der u at the mercy of others so many poor ppl has been victimize by dat law but it took a police being a victim for everyone to take a look at the law in a country run by a bunch of lawyers.makin laws not wit common sence but careless purpose.

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