FUL Review Coming – Rowley

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

THE system of giving citizens licences to own guns is to be reviewed.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said on Thursday, “It certainly needs to be reviewed now as it stands.”

He hosted the post-Cabinet press briefing at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s and was asked by journalists about the Stand Your Ground law and the issuance of Firearm Users’ License (FUL) as raised by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar on the campaign trail for Local Government Elections.


Dr Rowley said the current arrangement was that the commissioner of police would be the singular authority on who gets an FUL.

However, with more demand due to the growth of violent crime, that arrangement should be reviewed, “because it has been abused,” Dr Rowley said.


It has been abused to the extent that the Firearms Unit of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) had to be shut down and subject to serious forensic investigation.

That by itself disrupted the issuance of FULs, he said.

“Certainly from the experience we have had in the last 36 months, we certainly have to review that but what comes out of the review I can’t say today,” Dr Rowley said.

He also said that self-defence was available to citizens under the current laws but that does not mean it has to be taken to the extreme. 


Dr Rowley said, “If you are going to defend yourself having found yourself in grave danger you have to convince yourself that you could explain it after it has been done. And be seen to have acted properly. That is the measure of that law. The current law allows that.”

There was no law preventing a person from protecting themselves he said but it was a personal choice.

“It is a personal judgment and it is situational and sometimes its split second and you cannot legislate down to the split second like that. You have to have general laws as we have,” Dr Rowley said.


Regarding the Stand Your Ground law, he said the suggestion was being imported from a heavily militarised society now facing adverse consequences but it could be tailored to suit  Trinidad and Tobago. 

“If we have to make amendments, we do it in that context,” Dr Rowley said.


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