It won’t work!

Brathwaite rejects gun amnesty proposal

Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs says he would welcome any individuals with illegal firearms who want to turn them in.

However, in response to suggestions that the island needs to introduce a gun amnesty, Brathwaite today warned that they simply did not work.

Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs  Adriel Brathwaite
Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs Adriel Brathwaite

“Now pray tell if a fellow has an illegal firearm, you really feel if you say, ‘come I am going to give you $500’ that he is going to bring in his firearm and stuff? And when he brings in the firearm you automatically then have to test it to see whether or not it has been used in the commission of a crime?”

“It is not as simple as that!” Brathwaite said, stressing that, based on information he had received, “gun amnesties frankly do not work, and what usually happens is that you arrest a chap with his firearm, he tells you, ‘I was on my way to District “A” to deposit it you know’ . . . .

“That not withstanding if in fact individuals who have illegal firearms would like to turn them in we will welcome them off the street,” he added.

The Attorney General however admitted that the Freundel Stuart administration remains in the dark over the extent of the burgeoning gun problem and that Barbados was among Caribbean countries grappling with a worrying influx of firearms.

“This is not only a Barbados issue. It’s a regional issue given the large number of islands that we have [and] given the ease with which people can travel through our borders,” Brathwaite said.

Responding to reporters’ questions on the sidelines of a US-sponsored Caribbean Basin Security Initiative Professional Exchange Conference, the Minister was at pains to explain the complexity of the gun problem.

“There really [aren’t] any of us that have the capacity to man all of our borders,” he stressed.

“ . . . If you look at Barbados, the smuggler isn’t just going to come into the Bridgetown Harbour and say ‘hello, I’m here bringing my illegal firearms’,” Brathwaite said, emphasizing that law enforcement officials would not know if they were winning the battle until they knew the magnitude of the problem.

“It seems like if we are having challenges in terms of more firearms coming into the region, not just in Barbados. I am told that we now have a 60-40 split. Sixty per cent of the firearms coming into the region are coming from North America in particular from the US and the other 40 per cent is coming up from Latin and South America. So we have to look at wherever the threats are; and you really don’t know the number of firearms coming in, or being used in the region until a crime is committed, unfortunately. So that is why it is difficult to say if we are winning the battle,” Brathwaite added.

He noted that border security officials and other law enforcement authorities were further challenged because the people who brought in illegal guns did not register them and that one only got to know the status of the weapons at crime scenes or when the weapons were confiscated.

Brathwaite conceded that although large quantities of illegal drugs continued to be seized from various “hot spots” around the island, some still slipped through in the same way that guns did.

“You really don’t know if you are winning the battle because it is difficult to assess how many are coming into the region,” he stated.

He therefore said that the solution might be to continue training border security, examine the weaknesses in the security “apparatus” and push education.

Brathwaite was of the view that educating young people from the school level was critical, especially in applying conflict resolution and mediation.

“It’s a whole issue of violence. Why do we resort to violence, not just on the domestic plain, but even in terms of neighbours?” he asked.

Brathwaite also cited the issue of private pleasure yachts entering and leaving the island’s shores as a security risk, which must be tackled and which could be a means of bringing illegal guns here.

He said authorities must continue to track the movement of firearms and to see which countries they were being shipped from into Barbados.

He contended that while the CBP conference was looking at air transportation, there was a need also to seriously consider sea transportation as security issue.

“We are a region that we welcome individuals, we encourage yachts and boats for pleasure. We have to look at the risk associated with that. We have to look at the fact that a guy can get on his boat, leave Barbados, go outside the territorial waters within a couple hours and come back in. How do you check for these individuals and I’m not suggesting that there is an issue. All I am saying is from a national security perspective, the whole issue of yachts and ships going through the region is a risk that we have to look at, not just air passengers.”

“We have to use whatever resources are available to us to track firearms coming into the region; whether or not firearms are being used in Jamaica and then shipped to Barbados; look to see whether they are leaving Barbados and going outside of Barbados in the commission of crime,” he stated.

Brathwaite also said there was need for Barbados and the rest of the region to collaborate with the US in dealing with citizens who leave home, fight in foreign lands with such terrorist groups as ISIS, and then return to their countries.

He said it was a challenge, which had to be handled carefully, considering that the citizen did not commit a crime in his own country.

12 Responses to It won’t work!

  1. Alex Alleyne June 30, 2015 at 8:30 am

    I think you should make all persons caught with ILLEGAL GUNS go out and clean the streets and beaches for years to come . This come in and I am going to give you $500 will only make that person go out and buy a “bigger and better gun” .
    Try reading the book “MAKING A KILLING” .

  2. Patrick Blackman June 30, 2015 at 8:41 am

    What I think the minister fails to understand is that there is a concerted effort afoot to destabilize this country in every respect.

  3. jrsmith June 30, 2015 at 9:53 am

    @,Patrick, hail on the button. the minister seems to know so much ,but all he i doing is talking, talking and making excuses. as most bajan politicans do, one of the biggest ,the region, the region, our bajan people empower these people to manage our country so far ,with no real results, if by managing our island and the need arise ,where we need to work with others well do so ,always be reminded ,you are working for bajans.

    This minister, is the one who should lawfully do the job of representing bajans. his claim we have open border, well then ,impose the laws internally, laws can be introduce on a trial basis , as like where the government is at the moment, try this ,try that, and something might work.

    This issues of regional corporation, we seems not to be learning anything, the priminster of the UK ,is at the moment stamping around ,biting his nails to assure the people of the UK that the present government is there to represent the UK interest.

    Mr, minister as for the middle east issue, try and fix Barbados first , just stay out of it, you open your mouth and next thing ,these physo people start bombing our little island.

    But to add this war was started by politicians anyway.

  4. Patrick Blackman June 30, 2015 at 10:19 am

    @jrsmith Hail brother, these politicians are the problem, they spend their whole career trying to get reelected and not doing their jobs.

  5. Mac10 June 30, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    You really don’t know how amenity’s work do you?

    The whole point is that illegal weapons, guns in this case are hand in fee from prosecution, PRECISELY because you want to get them off the street because if you have them, they can’t be used by anybody else.

  6. Mac10 June 30, 2015 at 8:15 pm


  7. Chris Wright July 1, 2015 at 1:21 pm
    I don’t know if this link will be publishe, but I use it as source of my thoughts.
    Whenever and wherever there is an uptick in drug trade and use it is always accompanied by an increase in gun posession and use.
    There has been an increased level in the drug trade and us in Barbados over the years and if authorities are not aware of this correlation their heads are buried deep in the very sand they want visitors to come and relalx on.
    No legal gun owner should be harassed if they own a firearm legally to protect life and property or for sporting.
    The AG tends to be trying not to step on toes for fear of intimidating tourists who visit the island especially those in a higher caliber who can sail into and out of the island “at will”
    Sir, you have a job to protect Bajans first and if the society is in fear of the number of crimes being committed by criminals carrying guns, your first order of priority is to find the source of these guns and plug the hole…pardon. the pun.
    Good luck and let’s hope it wouldn’t be too long before people can have a peaceful nights rest.

  8. Tony Waterman July 2, 2015 at 4:19 am

    @Mr.Attorney General!!!!! You have got to be kidding everyone with that SILLY reason given for not believing that Gun Amnesties do work, i wish that you would at least try to think outside of the Bos like other with EXACTLY the same problem have done, take for instance, Ottawa, Onrtario. Canada.In 2013, the instituted a 30 day GUN AMNESTY, in collaboration with a camera manufacturer, it was called “PIXELS FOR PISTOLS” And irregardless of YOUR negative attitude towards this method of getting Guns off Streets, this one was EXTREMELY Successful, as they collected 1,035 Guns, in 2008 they also had a Gun amnesty that yielded 490 Guns, rthese are weapons that will NEVER be used to Commit any Crimes as they are out of the reach of Criminals, who could have stolen them in B&E’s.

    the city’s 30-day gun amnesty initiative aimed at ending gun violence and ensuring unwanted firearms wouldn’t end up in the wrong hands.

    Everyone who turned in an operational firearm that hadn’t been used in a crime was given an Olympus digital camera and a Henry’s School of Imaging Course valued at $175.00.

    Your Statement, Quote “”“Now pray tell if a fellow has an illegal firearm, you really feel if you say, ‘come I am going to give you $500’ that he is going to bring in his firearm and stuff? And when he brings in the firearm you automatically then have to test it to see whether or not it has been used in the commission of a crime?”” is actually Childish for a Man of your Educational and Legal Stature, there was NEVER a Gun Amnessty that i am aware of that, did not have the Criminal Cleanliness of the Guns attached to it, and another thing that is wrong is that, NO ONE, is ALLOWED at least in these jurisdictions, to Bring any Weapon to a Police Station, you call and make an Appointment to have a Police Officer, pick the weapon up. so you anecdot about someone claiming that they were on there way to hand in the Gun is Childish.
    In my opinion, Sir!!! you should rethink your whole attitude about how to get illegal guns off the Street, as i dont think that your are having the right thoughts about the Problem.

    GUN AMNESTIES DO WORK, as every one gun removed from off the street is one less gun to be pointed at a Police officer, in the execution of his Duty, thereby making his job a safer job.

  9. Patrick Blackman July 2, 2015 at 8:27 am

    @Tony Waterman, you are absolutely right, I thought Gatineau (Quebec) would have done the same thing but that never seem to have gotten off the ground.

  10. Tony Waterman July 2, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    @Mr. Attorney General!!!!
    Here are Gun amnesties that were

    conducted Successfully, in Jurisdiction

    where the Relevant Authorities knew

    what they were actually doing.Gun

    Amnesties, that UNLIKE what you are

    feeding your Populace, actually Worked.

    A British Columbia gun amnesty which

    ran from June 1 to June 30 2013, and

    allowed people to turn in documented or

    undocumented firearms not used in a

    criminal offence without being charged,

    and was endorsed by the B.C.

    Association of Chiefs of Police.
    More than 1,800 guns and 155 other

    weapons were obtained during the

    These firearms are dangerous and deadly

    devices, and gun amnesties over the

    years have taken thousands out of

    circulation so that they can’t be

    stolen or misused with tragic

    Gun amnesty nets 40,000 weapons

    More than 40,000 guns were handed over

    to police during the month-long

    firearms amnesty, the Home Office has


    The final figure far exceeded initial

    estimates of 25,000 weapons. Slightly

    fewer than one million rounds of

    ammunition were also surrendered.

    About 6,500 prohibited weapons such as

    handguns were included in the final


    The initiative was hailed as a

    “tremendous achievement” by Home

    Secretary David Blunkett.

    He said: “The Government is determined

    to tackle the scourge of gun crime and

    get guns off our streets.

    “The final figures for the gun amnesty

    are proof that people have taken the

    opportunity to rid themselves of

    firearms in advance of stiff sentences.

    “Taking over 40,000 guns out of

    circulation is a tremendous achievement

    and the police must be congratulated

    for the professional way they operated

    the amnesty.”

    He added: “Officers, particularly in

    metropolitan areas, do an excellent job

    in difficult circumstances dealing with

    armed criminals.

    “The new legislation we are bringing in

    to tackle these particularly

    unacceptable offences will give them

    the support they need to stamp down on

    gun crime.”

    The number of firearms handed in was

    17,000 more than in the last guns

    amnesty in the wake of the 1996

    Dunblane massacre. The latest campaign

    was triggered by the fatal shootings of

    Letisha Shakespeare, 17, and Charlene

    Ellis, 18, at Aston, Birmingham, on New

    Year’s Eve.
    Peel police kick off Spring Gun Amnesty
    Police in Peel Region are offering up

    amnesty for anyone in Brampton and

    Mississauga who want to get rid of

    unwanted firearms and ammunition.

    The Spring Gun Amnesty Program, which

    runs from April 1 to April 30, allows

    people to hand over both real and

    replica guns without the fear of

    possession charges.

    However, charges may be laid if the

    weapon has been used in a crime.

    “If the firearm comes back to be

    involved in a criminal offence,

    certainly they are susceptible to those

    charges,” Det.-Sgt. Jean-Paul St. Jules


    Staffordshire Police (Stoke &

    Staffordshire) begins two-week gun

    The surrender, in response to a law

    change in July, will allow owners of

    antique or unwanted firearms to hand

    them over without fear of prosecution.
    Police said they feared such obsolete

    weapons could be “made viable by

    criminals with ballistics know-how”.
    Starting In July, the maximum penalty

    for possession of an illegal firearm

    increased from 10 years’ imprisonment

    to life.
    Seems to me that our EXHAULTED Attorney

    General, Living on 166 Sq.Miles of

    Territory way out in the Atlantic,

    seems to have a lot more EXPERIENCE

    than others in Much Larger

    Jurisdictions who are pushing ahead

    SUCCESSFULLY with what he has stated

    DOES NOT WORK. What does our Ag. know

    that these others don’t.
    and what would he advise them to do

    instead of having a Gun Amnesty ???

  11. Tony Waterman July 2, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    @Patrick Blackman!!!! Gatineau, Quebec, Don’t forget, They are a DISTINCT Society, and so they do things differently, just to be different.

  12. Patrick Blackman July 2, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    @Tony Waterman – yup, I have lived there over the past 15 years.


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