With just under six hundred murders reported since the start of the year, there are signs that Jamaicans are rushing in droves to arm themselves with licensed firearms.
In the last year alone, according to the Firearms Licensing Authority (FLA), the average number of persons applying for gun permits each month has almost tripled.
Executive Director of the FLA, Dr. Kenroy Wedderburn, told The Gleaner yesterday that since the start of the year the agency has processed more than 3,800 applications for firearm licences at an average of 550 per month.
“A couple of years ago, we were processing a little over 200 per month. Now we are processing, on average, 550 per month,” Wedderburn revealed.
These applications, according to the FLA boss, were coming from “all kinds of people.”
“Regular office workers, professionals, contractors, business people, security officers … across the board,” Wedderburn said.
He further explained that after a very rigorous vetting process, which includes home visits and background checks, only an average of between 12 and 15% of these applications are denied.