Wiredja Online News Logo

WiredJa Online News

Wiredja Online News Logo

WiredJa Online News

JAMAICA | Government going all out to stem importation of illegal weapons says Chang

  • Written by wiredja.com news team
  • Published in Diaspora
Featured Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. Horace Chang Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. Horace Chang
WASHINGTON DC,  April 10, 2021 - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr. Horace Chang, has assured members of the Jamaican diaspora in the United States, that the government is going all out to stem the illegal trafficking of guns and ammunition into the country.
DR. Horace Chang 460
National Security Minister Hon. Dr. Horace Chang on-line with US diaspora

Addressing some two thousand members of the North America diaspora at the second in the series of “Lets Connect with Ambassador Marks” an online town hall meeting on Thursday, Dr. Chang explained that the government was now looking at a more robust legislative framework to deal with crime. 

“We don't make guns in Jamaica, much of the guns coming in are from the United States, and we are getting much more cooperation from the United States authorities in dealing with the illegal trading of firearms,” Dr, Chang told his audience.

He said although some come in through the United States, others come in through Central America and Haiti and they are exchanged for drugs. What we have done so far is very costly, but we have retooled the entire Coast Guard, creating a Marine, Air and Cyber Security division called the MACS Brigade, commanded by a senior female officer, Commodore Antonette Wemyss-Gorman.

commodore whyms Gorman 350
Commodore Antonette Wemyss-Gorman is the head of the Jamaica Defense Force Coast Guard. Appointed in 2014 , she is the first woman in the JDF to hold this rank. She joined the JDF in 1992 at the age of 19. As head of the Coast Guard, she is responsible for protecting Jamaica's shoreline and its waters.

We have acquired three ocean going vessels, and a marine patrol aircraft which have been very effective in intercepting the boats at sea, and stemming the ‘guns for drugs trade’, Minister Chang said.

He advised that the government will be implementing a more robust legislative framework to punish those who engage in illicit gun trade, as 80% of the homicides are committed from firearms .

The National Security Minister pointed out that “we are in the process of having a new Firearms Act Which will increase penalties for not only illegal possession and use of firearms, but also trading and manufacturing. We are looking at a number of other pieces of legislation so we can have a more robust legislative framework in dealing with crime,” He said.

 He noted that another area in which the government was embarking was to engage the youths who were considered ‘at risk, by keeping them in school, and giving them a skill, which was crucial in the effort to curtail and deter gun culture.

In a well-received presentation, Dr. Chang committed to giving a regular briefing to members of  the diaspora, as he felt it was important for Jamaicans overseas to be kept informed about the progress the government was making as it relates to national security.

Dr. Chang urged overseas Jamaicans with security skills who wanted to make a contribution to the national crime fighting effort, get in touch with the police high command through the Jamaican embassy, which will make the appropriate arrangements.

He acknowledged that while the police had highly skilled and capable officers, the government could not do it alone, emphasizing that national security was a specialized and highly sensitive area which had to be approached with caution, but he was open to explore roles for diaspora expertise.

The third in the series of the monthly “Lets Connect with Ambassador Marx” online- town hall  meeting, will be held on the 13th of May 2021.

Last modified onSunday, 11 April 2021 19:14
  • Countries: Jamaica