Prosecutor’s Office strongly opposes Duncan’s gun lawPOSTED: 02/27/11 9:25 PM
St. Maarten / By Hilbert Haar – Chief Prosecutor Hans Mos strongly opposes Justice Minister Roland Duncan’s plans for more liberate gun laws. “The Minister wants to give people a better opportunity to obtain a license,” he said during a press briefing at the Prosecutor’s Office in the vineyard building yesterday afternoon. “The police has been asked for advice. We haven’t been asked but we have given it all the same and our advice is blatantly negative. If you do this under the conditions the Minister has in mind you are going to cause an arms race on the island.”
Mos said that the minister’s plans seem to be designed for citizens who are able to afford a gun. “It will cost quite a lot of money,” he said. A reasonable gun will cost about $1,500, and the vault for storing the gun at home will cost another $2,500 to $3,000. Then you need a psychological report and a medical report. All in all obtaining that license will set you back about $5,000.”
That the gun law proposal is designed for the upper class is not the Chief Prosecutor’s main objection. “The minister wants a 24/7 license that will allow holders to carry their gun all day long. Police officers won’t know anymore who is carrying a gun and who is not. These guns will be stolen. People will forget them on their bedside table. And when a four-year old kid gets it hands on it, and accidents happen, it is not the minister who will clean up the mess.”
Referring to the arms race he foresees, Mos said that there are “a lot of lunatics on the island.” He predicts that black market demand for illegal guns will skyrocket, because criminals will want to arm themselves knowing that their targets may be armed as well.
“Minister Duncan will send his proposal to the parliament, together with our advice. And our advice is: don’t do it.”
The Chief Prosecutor made his remarks in answer to a question from this newspaper during a press briefing where prosecutor Rienk Mud stepped down as press officer. Mos will take over his duties effectively on March 9. A week later, Mud will return to the Netherlands where he will become a senior prosecutor at the prosecutor’s office in Alkmaar. He served three years in St. Maarten. (See related story on page 3).