NASSAU — Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage has rejected calls to amend the country’s gun laws to allow businessmen to carry handguns, suggesting it would likely create a “recipe for disaster”.
“The government is not considering it,” he said in an interview.
In the past few months, there have been calls for businessmen to be given the right to bear arms. Currently, applications for handguns have to be made to the commissioner of police and the policy has been very restrictive when it comes to granting approvals.
Last week Tall Pines Member of Parliament Leslie Miller appealed to the government to amend the Firearms Act to allow business owners to carry handguns.
Though being opposed to liberalising the firearms policy, Nottage said he is willing to listen to those who are advocating for a change.
“I’m prepared to listen to whatever arguments that people may have, but it’s not a matter of priority for the government,” Nottage said.
“My concern is we have enough difficulty controlling the guns for which there are licences today. And there are so many unlicensed guns in the community. If people do not keep firearms properly under control and they get into the hands of the wrong person, you can imagine what the result of that is going to be.
“And so we are not a gun-carrying society and it’s unlikely that we will become one.”
Miller made a push for business owners to carry arms after thieves stole thousands of dollars worth of copper from Robin Hood off Tonique Williams-Darling Highway last week.
Miller, who is president and director of Sunburst Paints, said a change in our gun laws is long overdue.
In The Bahamas while handgun licenses are difficult to obtain, it is easy to get shotgun and rifle licenses for hunting.
Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade told reporters earlier this year that an increased number of business owners had requested licenses for firearms because of the high number of armed robberies taking place. (Nassau Guardian)