The case of a man who was reportedly granted a gun license despite allegedly lying that he lives in Jamaica is among at least seventeen cases being probed by the Police of licenses issued under suspicious circumstances between 2012 and 2015.
This according to a report prepared by the Firearm Licensing Authority, FLA.
The document has been turned over to the Major Organized Crime and Anti Corruption Agency, MOCA.
The report, which is stamped confidential, notes that the man was initially denied a gun license in 2013 by the Robert Gregory-led Board.
This on the basis that investigations by the FLA showed that he lied that he resides in Jamaica permanently.
The document says the man then wrote to the FLA Board and said he’s employed to a firm owned by a well-known PNP don.
According to the report which is currently in the possession of MOCA, the then FLA Board reversed its decision and issued the man a gun license.
The report notes that in another case – a man who was convicted of lottery scamming and fraud in the United States was issued a gun license in 2014.
This despite his application being turned down in 2012 due to the criminal conviction.
Also among the cases turned over to MOCA is one in which another man was reportedly denied a gun license on May 15, 2014 because he’d been convicted of causing grievous bodily harm.
However, according to the report, the then FLA Board granted the man a gun license later that year.
Also among the cases brought to MOCA’s attention is one in which another man was denied a gun license on February 20, 2014 because FLA investigators discovered that he’s illiterate.
However, on April 24 of the same year the then FLA Board reportedly reversed its decision.
The 17 cases brought to MOCA’s attention include instances in which applicants were reportedly convicted of criminal offenses, including illegal possession of a firearm, but were issued gun licenses between 2012 and 2015.
According to the document – in at least 7 of the 17 cases the applicant resided in the parish of Manchester.
Nationwide News understands that the confidential FLA document was also brought to the attention of Cabinet a few weeks ago.
Last night – former National Security Minister Peter Bunting issued a statement strongly denying that the FLA Board under his watch issued gun licenses to persons of questionable character.
Bunting was Jamaica’s National Security Minister between January 2012 and February 2016.
Robert Gregory, who served as FLA Board Chairman during the period the majority of the 17 licenses referred to in the document were issued is quoted in the print media today as insisting that his board did not act inappropriately.
Several cases of licenses issued by the Dennis Wright-led Board between 2016 and this year are also under investigation by MOCA.
The Wright-led Board resigned amidst public controversy and a formal complaint from the Police to the FLA about the issuing of gun license to criminal suspects and people of questionable character.
The Board resigned shortly after Prime Minister Andrew Holness called Mr. Wright and National Security Minister Robert Montague to a meeting.
— 30 —