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Dozens of holders of firearm permits delinquent in paying fees

Dozens of holders of firearm permits delinquent in paying fees

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Over 100 persons who have been granted permits to hold firearms have been delinquent in paying the annual licence fee and as a result, stand to lose the privilege of carrying a weapon.

The Traffic Department of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF), the arm of the police responsible for collecting the fees, has issued an ultimatum to delinquent gun permit holders, “pay up or lose your licence.”

On Tuesday, Superintendent Kenneth John who also heads the Traffic Department of the police told SEARCHLIGHT, “a number of licensed firearm holders are not coming to renew their firearm licence. We have telephoned a number of them to come and renew and a number of them came, but they still have some delinquents, so we are calling on them to come and renew their licence or otherwise they will lose it.”{{more}}

Superintendent John noted that initially, all the licences used to expire on December 31, but that has been changed and the licence now expires on the date it was issued.

“One year after it is issued is the expiry date and we have some persons two, three years not coming to renew their firearm licence and still have the gun in their possession.

“You can lose it (the licence) if you are not renewing it and you can be charged also, but we have received instructions to seize them (the firearms), so we are calling them out for the last,” explained John, who stressed that last week was the final call to all delinquents.

“You [are] supposed to renew your firearm licence before it expires,” John stated.

SEARCHLIGHT understands that among the delinquents are several prominent citizens, one of whom is the head of an important national institution, who has not paid his licence for six years.

“A lot of them have not renewed, over 100 of them. Come and pay your firearm licence or otherwise they will be taken away and to get them back you will have to reapply all over again,” stressed the Traffic Department head.

A person who holds a shotgun licence must pay EC$200, while revolver and pistol holders must pay EC$500. Rifle holders must also pay EC$500, while firearms issued to watchmen and servants attract an annual fee of EC$500. Firearm dealers have to pay EC$1,500 to ply their trade, while an application for a gun licence costs EC$100.

In order for someone to possess a firearm legally in SVG, they must have a licence. The non-payment of a licence renders the licence invalid and therefore a person in possession of a firearm with an invalid licence can be considered to be the holder of an unlicensed firearm.

A person found in possession of an unlicensed firearm can be imprisoned for up to 10 years and fined up to EC$10,000 for a first-time offence and if indicted, can be fined up to EC$25,000 or jailed for 15 years.(LC)

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