MP James demands answers from Minister Duncan – Gun permit Romain Laville at center of sixteen questions

POSTED: 10/3/12 1:05 PM

St. Maarten – Did Justice Minister Roland Duncan answer questions UP-MP Jules James posed to him or did he not? That is the question to which James would like to get an answer.
At the opening of the parliamentary year, James asked the minister what was causing the delay in answering his questions.
“He told me that he had responded,” James states in an email to this newspaper. “I then called the griffier, who confirmed in front of the minister that he had not received the answers.”
James stated that he knows Minister Duncan usually answers questions within a reasonable time. “So I waited another three weeks and I still have not received the answers. I wonder what Minister Duncan and the other ministers including the Governor have to hide,” James wrote.
The opposition MP referred in his email to article 62 of the constitution that basically states that ministers shall answer to questions from members of parliament within a reasonable period.
“While the term reasonable does not point to a specific time period, I believe the authors of the Constitution, would see 2 – 3 weeks maximum as reasonable, but not to go beyond one month for any minister to respond to a member of parliament asking them pertinent questions,” James stated.
James released the sixteen questions to the justice minister that are awaiting an answer – and they are all about gun permits. His letter to Minister Duncan is dated August 125, well after the incident in front of the government building whereby his former fellow faction-member Romain Laville threatened to shoot him.
While James posed general questions about the gun policy as well, several others were directly about Laville. The MP wants to know if and when Laville received a gun permit and whether he got it prior to the death threats he made to him on June 11: “Are you aware that an official complaint has been files about the death threat and that the complaint has not been retracted and that the current investigation is still ongoing?”
James also wants to know from Duncan how many gun permits have been issued since he took office on October 10, 2010, and how many ministers and MPs have requested a license.
“Please indicate what the requirements are for ministers or MPs to qualify for a gun license. Please specify whether any psychological, manic depression, bipolar, schizophrenic, paranoia or unbalanced tests are required before a gun permit is issued.”
The next question is about grounds for refusing a gun permit, before the questions about Laville come up.
James furthermore inquires about licensed store operators on the island where guns may be purchased.
The MP states in question number 13: It is my understanding that from the stack of requests presently being handled, instructions were issued to have the requests of a certain MP of MPs sent to your office for expeditious handling. Could you please confirm whether this is true or not. If this was the case, what may have prompted the urgency?”
James also asked the minister whether permit holders are allowed to walk around with their guns. “Who are allowed to carry a concealed weapon?” he asked.
Lastly, the MP states that the parliament has not passed the new gun policy. “Please advise which policy is being used?”
At the end of his sixteen questions, James shares his opinion about weapons with the minister: “I maintain that a loaded weapon in the hands of inexperienced, easily irritated, incited, angered or instable individuals without proper training should never be allowed.”

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MP James demands answers from Minister Duncan - Gun permit Romain Laville at center of sixteen questions by

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