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Feb 5, 2014

Firearm Act to be revisited


Francis Fonseca

While the issues outside the House after the proceedings took center stage, there were several important matters raised inside the House. Premier among those has to be the Firearms Act, which has been the subject of prolonged and massive outcry. There have been myriad complaints and much distress expressed since 2008, when the perceived oppressive amendments to the Act were passed into law. The Act has been called draconian and unconstitutional, casting too wide a net which many times traps and abuses the innocent. Following the conviction and sentencing of Gino Peck last week, members of the legal fraternity expressed an intention to mount a Constitutional Motion to address aspects of the Act. But that may not be necessary. Today the matter was brought up by the member for Freetown Francis Fonseca, and answered by member for Belmopan John Saldivar.


Francis Fonseca, Area Rep., Freetown

“I am no fan of guns Mister Speaker, but it is clear that the laws as they presently stand are leading to injustice and inequity and I think we in this honorable house have a duty and obligation to review when the citizens of the country are concerned and we see these matters playing out nationally. We have a duty to pause and to say let us review the legislation and if necessary let us revise it to take account of these concerns of the Belizean people.”


John Saldivar

John Saldivar, Area Rep., Belmopan

“To recall the scenario, the times during which the various amendments to the firearms act were made—specific reference to 2008 when we were experiencing a major surge in gang violence and gang related crime; gun related crime, Mister Speaker. It is within that atmosphere that the government felt compelled to take stringent measures to deal with the rising crime situation. I must say though that it clamors now for a reduction in our sentences and in the stiffness of the firearms act could only have come about and could only be entertained now in the new environment where we have seen in 2013 a drastic reduction in crime. It is for this reason Mister Speaker that we listen carefully and I certainly listened carefully to the presentation just made by the member of Freetown and do make a promise—not only to him, but to this nation—that my government will be looking very carefully having now gotten the reprieve from the crime situation, we will be looking more carefully to see how we could revise the firearms and other related law.”

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2 Responses for “Firearm Act to be revisited”

  1. Ricky Malthus says:

    Saldivar you are a non compos mentis. Put yourself in the shoes of a visitor to a home where a police raid finds one bullet and you are thrown in jail no questions asked. Guilty until proven innocent. Man makes stupid laws but man has intelligence to correct his decisions. So , Saldivar, don’t pretend that there must be consultations to change the law. The House must do so now and pay compensation to all wrongfully accused persons caught up in this reprehensible for the past five years.

  2. gorilla grip says:

    The law should b change cos it is un constitutional period wit all these lawyers runnnin around belize u cant tell me dey didnt see it was from d start but yet dey sat back an made money of d poor ppl wit it an along wit these idiots call gsu planting one bullet here an der ppl should b compensated period for being victimize by a bad law drafted by idiot lawyers belizeans got to stand up an b pro active instead of being reactive to bull shit. my two cent

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