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Former security minister insists all gun licensing appeals handled by him were transparent

Robert Montague
 
Former National Security Minister Robert Montague is insisting that all firearm licensing appeals he handled during his tenure were transparent.
 
He was responding to an assertion that an individual of "questionable character" was granted a firearm licence after it was initially rejected by the previous Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) board. 
 
At a news conference Friday afternoon, Mr. Montague said he had an appeals committee of six senior people within the national security framework to make decisions on cases. 
 
He added that all decisions to grant firearm permits following the appeals process were unanimous. The same, he said, went for the case in question where the review panel unanimously recommended the reinstatement of the person's licence. 
 
"Important to note, the licence had been issued previously by the previous administration and they subsequently revoked it. The gentleman appealed. It is the appeal that was referred to me as minister. It was not my job to clear fit and proper," Mr. Montague explained.   
 
He said while the person in question was from his constituency, it had no bearing on the decision during the appeal.
 
He admitted that the man in question was charged with lottery scamming but the matter was thrown out by the courts due to a lack of evidence. 
 
The police officer who had charged the person in question was alleged to be corrupt and was separated from the police force, Mr. Montague revealed. 
 
He said the person in question subsequently became a "national security asset" who provided information unearthing scandalous issues at the FLA. 
 
"Proof of these issues were provided by him, and actions have been taken, including FLA personnel being fired and or arrested along with licences of Jamaicans being revoked," the former security minister noted. 
 
He pointed out that the matter had also previously come up before the Contractor General. 
 


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