PHILIPSBURG--Applications that were submitted for weapon licences have been suspended again until the review and streamlining process of a new weapons policy has been finalised.
This is the second time this year that the process has been suspended. On March 3 the Justice Minister had issued a notice suspending all new applications for weapons licences pending the new policy and granting an extension on requests for renewals until a decision was made on these requests “but no later than December 31, 2021.”
The Ministry of Justice said in a statement on Wednesday that the Ministry is currently reviewing the weapons policy that was established in 2016 and is further streamlining the application process for weapon licences. For that reason, all applications that were submitted for a weapon licence are suspended until the review and streamlining process is finalised, the statement read. This includes, but is not limited to, applications for a crossbow, spear gun and firearm licence.
“The Minister wishes to prevent that persons whose weapons have been registered with the police and who have proof of having submitted a request for renewal of their weapons permit, but who, while awaiting a decision on their application are still in possession of their weapon due to the delay in decision-making, run the risk of being fined and prosecuted for illegal weapon possession.”
“Therefore, the Minister grants these persons, from the date of this notice until the date on which a decision is made on their application, but no later than June 30, 2022, a licence to have that weapon/firearm in their possession. This general licence is deemed to have been granted under the same conditions as under which they have been previously granted a licence for the weapon/firearm.”
Anyone in possession of a gun or ammunition without being licensed to do so should hand over the gun to the police under the Firearms Ordinance. Also, if a licence holder dies, his or her survivors must hand over the firearm and the ammunition to the police.
“Once the new weapon policy is finalised, the public will be informed via government’s website, the website of the Ministry of Justice and their related Facebook pages.”