US Resumes Firearms Exports to Jamaica

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The US State Department has resumed authorizing the export of firearms to Jamaica.

The decision was made following consultation with the US Embassy in Kingston.

The State Department will now be considering each case on its merit.

In a statement yesterday, the US Embassy says it’s working with the Ministry of National Security and the Firearm Licensing Authority to identify opportunities to jointly improve the firearm licensing and registration process.

It says steps that can be taken immediately include: prioritizing the destruction of confiscated weapons, resuming marking of imported firearms, increasing coordination with the JCF, ensuring up-to-date ballistics data are available to the Forensic Science Laboratory and improving record-keeping.

The US embassy also disclosed that exports bound for the security forces were not delayed at any point as a result of the temporary suspension.

It says it will jointly reassess the issues with the FLA in another six months. In November last year, the Embassy announced the decision to suspend firearm exports to Jamaica. This, as it reviewed its licensing approval process.

It said this was due to concerns about the Firearm Licensing Authority, FLA.

Meanwhile, National Security Minister, Robert Montague, says reforms have already begun at the Firearm Licensing Authority, FLA.

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The Security Minister says new applicants will not be allowed to leave the FLA without having their weapon registered and all new weapons coming into Jamaica must be registered.

He also says the FLA will move to clear up a backlog of approximately 10-thousand weapons not on the ballistic register.

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