Features — 28 February 2014 — by Adele Ramos
National Security gets ready to put firearms law to consultations

Whereas the public call for a revision of Belize’s sweeping firearm laws—which have at times resulted in the mandatory remand of upstanding innocent citizens—continues unabated, it is evident that those revisions won’t be implemented as quickly as some might have hoped.

Amandala spoke today with the chairman of the Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee, Collet area representative Patrick Faber, who told us that there are several stages that the law revision must go through before it even gets to Parliament.

At the time of our conversation, Faber was in the company of National Security Minister John Saldivar, who indicated that his ministry would start the first round of consultations at the time the bill is being prepared.

Afterwards, the draft bill must be taken to Cabinet before it is tabled in Parliament, where it would be presented for the first reading.

Faber said that it is at this stage that the bill would be referred to the committee which he chairs.

He told us that since the gun laws are a “hot topic,” the Committee would likely decide to move around the consultations on the bill, rather than restrict its meeting to the National Assembly committee room, in order to allow for Belizeans in other parts of the country to weigh in on the amendment.

Faber said that whereas he is in favor of wider consultations at the committee level, because of the extent of public interest, whether the consultations go beyond those walls would ultimately be decided by the committee as a collective.

Saldivar also sits on that committee, along with two other United Democratic Party reps: Herman Longsworth and Manuel Heredia.

The members of the Opposition People’s United Party who sit on the committee are John Briceño and Dolores Balderamos Garcia.

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