Highlighting Comments by Chairman of the Police federation

Comments by Chairman of the Police federation Baseless, Sensational and Most Unfortunate – FLA

The Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) sent out a press release earlier today, highlighting comments by the Chairman of the Police federation, Detective Sergeant Patrae Rowe. Read the full document below:

KINGSTON, Jamaica. Monday, September 29, 2020: The Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) takes note of the article published in the Sunday Gleaner on September 27, 2020, captioned ‘FLA Exposing Cops to Harm Charges Rowe- Police Federation laments Agency’s Decision to deny several Cops Gun Permits’, and the comments of the Chairman of the Jamaica Police Federation, Sergeant Petrae Rowe.

It is important to note, that the FLA is the regulatory body responsible for the management and governance of private firearm ownership in Jamaica. The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), through its risk assessment, is responsible for the issuance of firearms to its members and is directly charged with the overall protection of them in the execution of their duties. It is therefore unfortunate that Sergeant Rowe has sought to mislead the public that the FLA is exposing the police to harm by denying them firearm licenses.

As a matter of standard operating procedures, the Authority is mandated to govern the issuance of private firearm licenses through comprehensive investigations, background checks, and a due diligence process that relies heavily upon the intelligence arms of the JCF. The application process examines a spectrum of circumstances to include home inspections and criminal records; and assesses the risks associated with each individual’s need for a private firearm. Therefore, the applicant’s profession is not the sole deciding factor. Persons who apply to the FLA are applying on a personal basis and are not granted firearm licenses for business/work purposes. All decisions are made by a five-member Board, which is currently chaired by a retired Colonel of the JDF, and supported by a retired Deputy Commission of Police and a retired Judge of the Supreme Court. Moreover, the JCF’s role in the decision-making process for each applicant is critical to the foundation on which the FLA forms and maintains its integrity. There is no exemption in the vetting process, or prejudice to any group of individuals, whether by profession, religion, or association.

Further, applications that are denied by the Board of the Authority, may be appealed to the three-member Review Board chaired by a former President of the Court of Appeal, who reports directly to the Minister of National Security with responsibility for the FLA and the JCF. Where there are instances of denial or revocation of licenses for members of the police force, the JCF is made aware of the reasons or basis under which these decisions are made. Additionally, the FLA has attended several meetings hosted by the Federation to share the issues we have had in denying any of its serving members a firearm licence. 

The FLA continues to enjoy a sterling relationship with the members of the JCF, and we continue to rely on their support as we make decisions in respect to arming Jamaican citizens, and strengthening national security.