Home / News / Local / Gun license hike upsets Abaco hunters, law-abiding residents
Residents in Abaco expressed serious concerns over the recent sudden appear­ance of a notice at the Marsh Harbour Po­lice Station indicating firearm license fee increases which are in effect as of Novem­ber 6, 2013.

Gun license hike upsets Abaco hunters, law-abiding residents

Residents in Abaco expressed serious concerns over the recent sudden appear­ance of a notice at the Marsh Harbour Po­lice Station indicating firearm license fee increases which are in effect as of Novem­ber 6, 2013.

The public was caught unaware of the impending hike in fees, which are 300 per­cent more than the previous charge. The fees for rifles went from $100 to $300; shotguns, formerly $50 are now $150; gun import certificates went up to $150; special license for handguns tripled to $750; the license for firearm dealers is now $750 and the license for an antique firearm is now $300.

According to sources retailers li­censed to sell firearms just received the notice of the fee increases last week with the information that the fees were already in effect. One source says that groups of gun owners are already putting together petitions.

He also said that many gun owners are considering turning in their guns to one of the gun retailers for storage if they are unable to pay or have multiple shotguns. “If the government thought this would in­crease revenues by raising it 300 percent they thought wrong. Less people will li­cense all their guns,” he said.

Another hunter said that this will af­fect what is in some families a multi-gen­erational tradition of hunting.

Yet others feel that the new fees will result in fewer responsible citizens owning guns while criminals will continue to be well armed with illegal weapons. “Crimi­nals will love that law abiding citizens may have to turn in their guns because they can’t afford the fees. This is crazy; just adds up to more illegal weapons,” one said.

The new fees were mentioned by the government in the House of Assembly in June during the course of the budget de­bates, but remained unreported likely be­cause raises to Cruising Permits and Avia­tion Fees took center stage.

Notably, in 2010, Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade revealed that there were 15,545 licensed shotguns and 1,565 rifles. He did not provide statistics on the number of handguns. While no offi­cial number exists, it is estimated that there could be up to 3,000 such firearms in the country.

Abaco’s Superintendent of Police, Noel Curry said that he expects that the Minister of National Security Bernard Not­tage will release an official statement soon on the increases.

Superintendent Curry stated that those unable to afford licensing multiple guns may turn in their unlicensed firearms for safe keeping until such time that they are able to afford to license them.

Other fee increases include Character References (Police Certificate) which were formerly $2.50 are now $3 for residents and $5 for non-Bahamians, and finger print cards which are now $100 for non-Baha­mians.

What Do You Think?

comments

About Timothy Roberts

Timothy Roberts

Timothy had his first venture into Journalism just months after graduating from Queen’s College in Nassau taking his first job with The Tribune in 1991 leaving in 1992 for other pursuits.

During his time in Nassau he diversified his experiences working as a warehouse manager, locksmith and computer technician before returning to Abaco, a place he has always considered home, in 1999.

He joined the staff of The Abaconian in 2001 doing graphic design and writing an opinion article called Generally Speaking and after a brief time away, returned to The Abaconian in 2010 as a reporter, graphic designer and computer technician.

Check Also

MP Holds Town Meeting in MOW

MP James Albury, accompanied by Island Administrator Charles Moss, held a public Town Meeting on Man-O-War on July 27, 2017. This follows the mandate to all Members of Parliament by Prime Minister Minnis that MPs are to hold constituency meetings quarterly.

Leave a Reply