Jamaica Information Service – Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA), Shane Dalling, says the organisation is currently holding discussions with two psychologists to assess applicants of firearm licences.
During a press conference at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew on Friday (July 13), Mr. Dalling said this is part of the vetting process for persons who are applying for firearm licences.
In addition, the CEO said a literacy test will be introduced for new applicants.
“We believe persons should be able to read and write in order to be given such an awesome responsibility of owning and carrying a licensed firearm,” he emphasised.
Mr. Dalling said his management team believes these two steps will help with better selecting persons who are capable and responsible to keep firearms.
The CEO pointed out that some of the methods of assessment currently being used will still be utilised, such as the tracking of the approved amount of ammunition being sent to dealers.
“For years, we have been tracking the usage of ammunition across the country. We take the issue of firearm licensing very seriously, and the accountability measures that have been put in place have made a lot of persons uncomfortable, but we will not resile from doing what we need to do,” Mr. Dalling said.
“Our scope of checks that we are carrying out now will go very deep into the individual’s character before a licence is issued. All persons who have licences are being re-evaluated to ensure that they are still fit and proper to hold those firearms,” he added.
The CEO informed that, in addition, there has been an increase in security checks and surveillance of licensed firearm holders, the amount of lost and stolen firearms and the revocation of licences.