As Dominica experiences a spike in deadly gun-related crimes, national security and home affairs minister Rayburn Blackmoore said the matter must be confronted as it poses a threat to the island’s national security.
This week two men were shot and killed in separate incidents.
So far this year, there have been ten shooting incidents, eight of which resulted in fatalities with seven being deemed as murders.
“The recent upsurge of firearm offences, if not immediately stemmed will not only negatively impact Dominica’s peace index but seriously undermine the social and economic fabric of our beautiful country,” he said.
He stated that the recent upsurge in gun crimes has to be confronted.
“Brothers and sisters, this is a serious threat to our national security and this threat has to be confronted,” he stated.
Blackmoore said Dominica is known for nature and peacefulness and events of the past few months should cause citizens, irrespective of their political persuasion or religious faith, to pause and take them very seriously.
“The Ministry of National Security and Home Affairs and your government shall continue to provide the police force with the support needed to swiftly respond and to adopt a zero tolerance level for the use of fire arms to commit offences,” Blackmoore pointed out. “I therefore fully support the police in making full use of the Firearm Act of the Commonwealth of Dominica and to use all necessary, lawful means when dealing with firearm-related offences.”
Blackmoore pointed to the Firearm Act of the Commonwealth of Dominica as comprehensive piece of legislation.
“Section 44 of the Firearms Act gives the police the power to stop and search vehicles in which there is a suspicion that firearms and ammunition are located on vehicles,” he explained. “I also want to highlight that there is a compulsory imprisonment which can be invoked according to Section 52 of the said Act. This Section makes provision for when a firearm is used in the commission of kidnapping or abduction, robbery, drug trafficking involving a quantity in excess of 500 grams and rape or unlawful carnal knowledge, that the accused shall be sentenced to a term of not less than 15 years imprisonment.”