Barbados introduces tougher gun laws

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Barbados, which recorded more murders last year than in the previous year, has instituted more severe fines and penalties for gun-related crimes as the Firearms Amendment Act 2022 came into effect on Sunday.

In 2021 Barbados had recorded 32 murders but that figure was surpassed last year, with the authorities acknowledging that in November last year — when 38 murders were then recorded — 29 were firearm-enabled.

A Government statement said that under Section 29 (2) of the Act, “a person who aids, abets, counsels or procures another or conspires with another to commit an offence under this Act, is guilty of an offence and is liable to the same punishment as is provided for that offence”.

Section 30 allows for the penalties for offences under legislation. It notes that for a first offence a convicted person could serve a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison, and for a second offence, a sentence of 20 years to life in prison.

“In the case of a first-time offender the court has the option to impose a fine of BDS$100,000 in addition to the term of imprisonment. Also, the judge has the discretion to vary the mandatory sentence for first-time offenders in limited conditions and exceptional circumstances.”

The statement said that Section 30B of the Act stipulates that any sentence of imprisonment for an indictable offence “shall be served consecutively to any other sentence arising out of the same offence, or to any other sentence that the offender is subject to at the time of sentencing.

“In other words, the sentence for an indictable offence under this Act shall be added to and not run concurrently with any other sentence to which the offender is liable. This is subject to variation by the judge only in very limited conditions, and where there are exceptional circumstances.”

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