Crime law and order — 05 September 2014 — by Adele Ramos
Amendments prepared to “soften” gun law

BELIZE CITY–Government’s legal counsel, Gian Ghandi, SC, told Amandala today that amendments to both the Firearms Act and the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act have been prepared and should be introduced in Parliament at tomorrow’s meeting of the House of Representatives.

Although he would not get into the details of the impending amendment, Ghandi, who played a key role in the drafting, said that the provisions of the existing legislation would be “softened.”

Ghandi said that the provision which is being revised in the Firearm Act had caused concerns because if the police find an illegal weapon on someone’s premises, they charge everyone at the location.

Furthermore, under the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act, the magistrate hearing the case has no discretionary power to decide on bail matters. In such cases, there is a mandatory remand and persons may be locked up for two weeks before the Supreme Court can even hear their request for bail.

Ghandi said that the amendments are intended to “mitigate hardships currently being caused by the legislation.”

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