Khan: Government must reconsider allowing citizens to arm themselves

Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 07:45

Member of Parliament for San Juan/Barataria Dr Fuad Khan, says the Government should review its position on allowing citizens to arm themselves.

His comment comes in light of the discovery of the body of WPC Nyasha Joseph on Wednesday.

"My most sincere condolences go out to the family of WPC Nyasha Joseph, and especially her 4 year old daughter, in their time of mourning. For her to have lost her life so soon and in such a manner is a tragedy upon our country and will mark a great stain in our history. 

Times such as this however, should also offer reflection and review of the circumstances in order to prevent any such incidents from occurring in the future. While many details of her death are unknown to the public, we have been made aware that WPC was brutally murdered before taking up her duties at the Morvant Police Station. So this begs the question of whether she may have been better able to protect herself if she had been armed with her service weapon. 

As more people continue to lose their lives in such tragic circumstances, the Government needs to seriously reconsider their position on allowing all citizens to take up arms to protect themselves against the growing criminal element. I also restate my position that the granting of Firearms Licenses should be removed from the Commissioner of Police, and instead be mandated to a Commission on Firearms Control that can evaluate and process these applications.

This Commission is even more necessary in today's society, as ordinary citizens contemplate acquiring firearms and other weapons through illicit means in an attempt to protect themselves and their families from the dangerous criminal element.

Police officers should also have the ability to keep their firearms with them at all times, as they would not only be able to better protect themselves, but also gives them the ability to protect their fellow citizens even when they are off duty. This would send a message to the criminal threat that citizens are willing to stand up and protect themselves through any means necessary, which could curtail the instances of violent crime gripping our country at this time.

The confirmation of the death of WPC Nyasha Joseph that came with the discovery of her body yesterday evening brought great sorrow to the House of Representatives and the rest of the nation as the news spread. As we join together in mourning WPC Joseph in the wake of her tragedy, a young woman who has lost her extremely life too soon, this needs to be a wake-up call to the authorities and the Government to protect our women, to protect our police officers and to protect our citizens at large.

As it is becoming a case where no one in our country is truly safe unless they have the ability to protect themselves, the government owes it to the population to allow them to do so against a criminal threat that is already armed and willing to take the lives of the innocent."