THE Minister of National Security said criminal activity in TT was frightening, as he implored Senators to support a bill to deny bail to anyone charged for possession of an illegal gun.
Stuart Young spoke in yesterday’s debate on the Firearms (Amendment) Bill 2019, replying to the human rights concerns of Independent Senator Sophia Chote SC.
He quoted Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith’s lament that now anyone held with a gun can soon get bail and kill the person who had informed on him, a liability that now deters witnesses.
Refuting Chote’s view that a gun goes on killing while its owner is jailed, Young said, “A firearm of itself does not kill someone. It is the person who pulls the trigger. Gangs have trained shooters and hit men.”
He said from 2013-2018 were 4,216 firearm offenders, of whom 202 became repeat offenders.
Young said the 120 says of bail denial includes court visits every 28 days. He listed crimes the bill curbs. He said five men in east Trinidad were charged under anti-gang legislation, and vowed more are coming. On the Kidnapping Act, Young said it’s hard to get evidence to build a case when suspects are freely moving around.
On anti-terrorism laws, Young related the frightening details police found on the electronic device of an unstable men who last year plotted to kill a public figure. Another man had details of how to behead, attack a convoy and make bombs. “Are these the type of people we want to just walk out (on bail.)”
He said 75-81 per cent of murders were done by firearms.Crooks no longer use a rusty gun with three bullets, but AR-15, AK-47 and Glock guns with a 35-round extension. Young said the bill has protections so no one languishes in jail. “If they are there, I say they deserve it.”