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Minister wants ‘draconian’ laws against illegal guns

National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis, has called for draconian legislation that would cause persons to think twice before obtaining illegal guns.

The statement comes against the backdrop of a worrying eleven homicides so far for this year.

Francis has said that a penalty of life imprisonment should be imposed for the possession of illegal firearms.

“Persons who are convicted of firearm offences, you go and serve a life sentence because that is  taking peoples lives – so if you are found with a firearm, you are sentenced to life,” the minister told reporters.

Under Saint Lucia’s criminal code, a person who possesses a firearm with intent to injure, threaten or cause injury to person or property is liable on summary conviction  to a fine of not less than $20,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not less than 5 years, or on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term of not less than 10 years.

For the use of a firearm or imitation firearm with intent to commit an offence, an individual is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than $20,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not less than 7 years; or  on conviction on indictment to a term of imprisonment of not less than 15 years.

That is in addition to any other penalty to which  the perpetrator may be liable.

 

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