NASSAU, BAHAMAS — An area firearms association is lobbying with its 2,000 members for the country’s ‘antiquated’ laws, regarding the usage of guns, to be modified.
Bahamas National Firearms Association (NFA) President Melvin Gordon underscored the necessity for the federal government to revisit several of the present laws and policies related to gun ownership, after having conducted a regional study.
“It’s very old and antiquated. I believe we’re still the one country that uses the quantity of paper we use in terms of firearm licensing,” he said.
“Every place else you go all around the Caribbean […] and in most places, I believe there’s just one other country to still use a bunch of paper aside from us.”
The NFA president said they’ve also lobbied the ‘Castle Doctrine’ to the federal government which speaks to a person having the ability to use guns to defend themselves on the perimeter of their home lot; something he says the present law doesn’t account for.
Gordon said: “If someone was to enter your property line to your home threatening yourself or your loved ones, you as a home-owner should have a right to defend yourself against an individual, without fear of prosecution or arrest.”
Gordon says that the NFA saw immediate interest from the general public after they began the organization in 2016 due to the lack of know-how and training.
He explained that the foremost goal of the NGO is advocating for extra firearms education and training, criticizing the present technique of acquiring guns within the country.
“You fill out applications, you decide up approval, you decide up the firearm.
“So there’s absolutely no training requirements because it stands to receive a Firearms License and that is just one among the explanations a variety of individuals are definitely interested.”
Moreover, Gordon said that is one other issue that the organization is campaigning to make a change and so they have already met with government officials to voice their proposal.
“We’ve already, put in documents together to be sent into national security, we did some stuff with the AG office and we met with the new commissioner, Mr. Fernander recently, and he also asked because he’s very excited by this himself and he said this was one among the things he had on his mandate when he first got here in.
“So yeah, we’re going to work with all those key players in getting some form of national firearms certification that should be required before you truly get your firearms license.”
The NFA offers training courses and academic workshops based on their U.S. counterparts’ National Rifle Association program which has been developed over 140 years and can be utilized by a lot of their members.
“We aligned ourselves with the perfect within the business and the perfect within the industry, whereas the entire training that they supply our organization can now also provide.
The organization also has members on the family island, Gordon said that he believes using guns for hunting throughout the legal frame can be solution to introduce a new hunting industry within the country, which might even be useful for tourism.
“Hunting excursions, that’d create income for everyone because after they come, they need a spot to remain. They need food to eat. They need transportation.
“[…] So this different stuff like this, we were just attempting to push because, again, the 40,000 licenses already on the market.
“[…] So unless the commissioner goes to get up sooner or later and choose to seek out a solution to recall all of them, let’s see how we are able to organize it and turn into more positive.”
Gordon says that he is usually greatly surprised and he finds it ridiculous that so many individuals have guns of their possession that they’ve never used or fired. He explains that that is the rationale why training is crucial.
He says nevertheless that the NFA will not be calling for everybody to have a firearm, but that for many who do have one to make certain they put it to make use of.
“You understand, what we’re not advocating to placed on guns in everybody’s hands; we’re not saying that you realize, that we wish to create a society where everybody stoning up everybody, we’re not saying that.
“But we’re saying, for those who are going to approve individuals for firearms, licensed firearms, they need to have some form of coaching.”