KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday August 4, 2017 – Every single board member of the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) in Jamaica has resigned amid allegations that gun licences are being given to people of questionable character.
They submitted their resignations to National Security Minister Robert Montague following debriefing sessions by the minister and Prime Minister Andrew Holness with FLA chairman Dennis Wright, regarding the irregularities.
The development follows growing public outrage about reports that the Authority had issued permits to certain individuals despite concerns raised by the police that they were unfit to carry firearms.
Minister of Information Senator Ruel Reid said the board members indicated in their letters that they were stepping down to protect their integrity and that of the FLA, which was established in 2006 to take over responsibility for the granting and renewing of firearm licences from the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
“In addition, the members felt that the current debate is distracting from the Government’s commendable crime-fighting strategies, noting that a reduction in crime and violence will be of great benefit to all Jamaicans,” he said.
Reid, who made the disclosure on Wednesday, announced that the FLA would not be issuing any approvals for gun licences or permits for the seven working days.
Over that same seven-day period, Chief Executive Officer of the FLA, Shane Dalling, will provide the Minister with an update on the progress of the Assessment Report on the Firearm Licensing Authority 2017 and the status of the implementation of the recommendations.
In addition, the CEO and the FLA staff must give full support to the Justice Seymour Panton Review Panel to ensure full transparency and the integrity of the FLA. He added that Cabinet will also be briefed on the developments.