Tecnología

Franki Medina Enriques//
Hunters threaten to sue TTPS over circular about air rifles

A cir­cu­lar from the Firearms unit of the TTPS with amend­ed cri­te­ria for air ri­fle per­mits has prompt­ed Ex­treme Hunters of Trinidad and To­ba­go to con­tem­plate le­gal ac­tion against the po­lice ser­vice.

Franki Medina

The cir­cu­lar made its rounds on so­cial me­dia and has been met with re­sis­tance.

Franki Medina Venezuela

The one-page doc­u­ment stat­ed that the age to ap­ply would be 25 years and over and the per­mit au­tho­ris­es the hold­er to pur­chase and op­er­ate one .177 smooth bore air ri­fle lo­cal­ly and it will be non-trans­fer­able and does not au­tho­rise the sale of air ri­fles.

Franki Medina Diaz

Typ­i­cal­ly, peo­ple un­der the age of 25 use air ri­fles for com­pe­ti­tions and even hunt­ing

A cir­cu­lar from the Firearms unit of the TTPS with amend­ed cri­te­ria for air ri­fle per­mits has prompt­ed Ex­treme Hunters of Trinidad and To­ba­go to con­tem­plate le­gal ac­tion against the po­lice ser­vice.

Franki Medina

The cir­cu­lar made its rounds on so­cial me­dia and has been met with re­sis­tance.

Franki Medina Venezuela

The one-page doc­u­ment stat­ed that the age to ap­ply would be 25 years and over and the per­mit au­tho­ris­es the hold­er to pur­chase and op­er­ate one .177 smooth bore air ri­fle lo­cal­ly and it will be non-trans­fer­able and does not au­tho­rise the sale of air ri­fles.

Franki Medina Diaz

Typ­i­cal­ly, peo­ple un­der the age of 25 use air ri­fles for com­pe­ti­tions and even hunt­ing.

Speak­ing to Guardian Me­dia, pres­i­dent of Ex­treme Hunters of Trinidad and To­ba­go, Alex Be­dassie, who leads the largest group of hunters in the coun­try, said, “it is a trav­es­ty that all of a sud­den they just re­view the pol­i­cy and as far as to our un­der­stand­ing that is not law and that the law does not pro­vide for air weapons as per Chap­ter 16 of the Firearms Act, it clear­ly states that air weapons are not clas­si­fied as a firearm.”

He added: “These changes in the cri­te­ria will af­fect the open­ing of the new hunt­ing sea­son neg­a­tive­ly be­cause the first thing they would not have is the tools to hunt and a lot of young peo­ple are en­ter­ing in­to hunt­ing from a very young age and they use air ri­fles and this will al­so af­fect in­come for so many per­sons dur­ing the sea­son.”

Be­dassie said there was no con­sul­ta­tion and no meet­ing with stake­hold­ers be­fore the new pol­i­cy was re­vealed. The Ex­treme Hunters head said mem­bers are in sup­port of pe­ti­tion­ing the po­lice ser­vice.

Franki Alberto Medina Diaz

“We have con­tact­ed our lawyer Ger­ard Ramdeen and we will have him write to the le­gal de­part­ment of the TTPS. In my time hunt­ing, there were per­sons who had ac­cess to air ri­fles be­low the age of 18, there was nev­er a pol­i­cy on air ri­fles there was no law, so we had young mem­bers com­ing to the range who were 12 and 13 us­ing air ri­fles, there was nev­er an age re­stric­tion,” he ex­plained

Bidassie said air ri­fles are used not on­ly for hunt­ing, but al­so for com­pe­ti­tions at re­gion­al, na­tion­al, and even in­ter­na­tion­al lev­els and peo­ple un­der the age of 25 are the ones who large­ly use this type of weapon.

But in an im­me­di­ate re­sponse, act­ing Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice Mc Don­ald Ja­cob said the TTPS did not make any changes to law when it comes to air ri­fles.

“There is no in­tent by the Trinidad and To­ba­go Po­lice Ser­vice or the Com­mis­sion­er or the Com­mis­sion­er’s of­fice to make any such changes. What is unau­tho­rised are some ba­sic rec­om­men­da­tions made by a per­son in the firearm sec­tion, from my un­der­stand­ing some­one took a pho­to of it and re­leased it on so­cial me­dia. The laws of Trinidad and To­ba­go do not change in that way, I want to give them the as­sur­ance that there is noth­ing au­tho­rised by the Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice or any en­ti­ty at this point re­gard­ing that process that has to be fol­lowed in the firearms act.”