Pistol association seeks details of police gun policy

President of the International Defensive Pistol Association Jethro John - Photo courtesy IDPA
President of the International Defensive Pistol Association Jethro John - Photo courtesy IDPA

PRESIDENT of the International Defensive Pistol Association Jethro John has been permitted to challenge the continued failure of Police Commissioner Erla Harewood-Christopher to provide information on the grant of firearm user’s employee certificates (FUEC) to rifle associations.

On February 29, Justice Christopher Sieuchand permitted John to pursue his judicial review claim against the commissioner after the IDPA president was told there was a hold on all FUEC applications for his members.

A case management hearing will be held on April 29.

In his application, John contends that for the last three decades, FUECs have been granted to members of all associations to facilitate sport shooting.

However, “for reasons unknown to him, the present CoP ceased the said practice.”

John contends IDPA members received FUECs between 2005-2022, and neither the commissioner nor the firearms unit of the police can clarify the policy change.

“The actions of the CoPhave closed the doors to sport shooting in Trinidad and Tobago without any justification and/or consultations with the relevant stakeholders involved in promoting and governing this sport...

“The present CoP has unilaterally decided that sports shooting, specifically, defensive and practical shooting has no place in this jurisdiction. “

John’s attorneys Keron Ramkhalwhan, Shalini Sankar and Anneisia Gunness contend this decision is illegal.

John has asked for the police’spolicy on the grant of FUECs to members of the IDPA and other associations, since in September 2007, the Ministry of National Security certified the association as a bona-fide rifle association.

He also wants to know how many FUECs were granted to members of the IDPA and other associations between 2005 and 2023, and a list of the commissioners who granted the certificates for that period.

John’s application said the IDPA’s members now face challenges in obtaining the necessary certificates for sport shooting because of these new restrictions.

“The failure of the CoP to process applications for FUECs by members of the IDPA is having a detrimental impact on its members and, in particular, the younger competitors in sports shooting who are looking to further their sporting future.”

The application also said the failure to process the application was also preventing athletes from preparing for competition.

“This situation not only affects the individual athletes but is also hampering the growth and development of sports shooting in TT.”

The application said in July 2004, the then commissioner gave the IDPA permission to hold weapon-training courses for citizens who hold FULs and FUECs, with certain stipulations.


"Pistol association seeks details of police gun policy"

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