Connect with us

Bahamas News

Weak American Laws enabling CARIBBEAN to be WEAPONISED



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


May, 27, 2022 – Weak American gun laws are wreaking havoc on Caribbean islands. No Caribbean country is a major arms exporter or importer or manufacturer, yet Magnetic Media’s special series points out, gun crimes in the Caribbean have had a startling increase in the last three decades and the International Police  (INTERPOL) says 70 percent of all Caribbean murders are carried out with a gun.

The concerning statistics beg the question of where those guns are made and more importantly how they arrive on Caribbean shores.

Most guns in the Caribbean used in crimes start off as perfectly legal weapons.

The world’s largest exporter of guns is the United States of America, which accounted for 37 percent of all guns on the international market between 2016 and 2020; only one percent lower than the other top 4 exporters combined.

The country has been steadily producing more than 8.9 million guns per year since 2008 and 2016 marked the highest year with 11.5 million of the weapons made on US soil according to a report by the Centre for American Progress (CAP).

In addition the process to become a gun manufacturer in the US is fairly smooth.

“There are no substantive requirements to qualify as a gun manufacturer: Applicants must only be over age 21, be eligible to possess guns under federal law, and not have willfully violated any federal laws or regulations related to firearms,” says the CAP.

Gun manufacturing is a growing business, 255% more saturated in 2018 than it was in 2009.

The problem is that those legally made guns have begun to sweep into the Caribbean at alarming rates often from the United States. There is no National Gun registry connecting guns to owners in the US in fact Federal law specifically prohibits it which means after initial purchase, they can simply…disappear.

And like a sinister magic trick many of them appear in the Caribbean and are used to commit crimes before eventually falling into the hands of the police. Five Caribbean countries are listed among the 25 countries with the highest homicide rate in the region. Four of them are listed in the top five Caribbean destinations for illegal importation of US guns.

In 2020 Jamaica, The Bahamas, The Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago and Haiti requested tracing from the American Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearm and Explosives on a combined 1,136 firearms seized by their various police forces.

Seventy percent or 804 guns were from the United States. Of the 804 a whopping 59 percent or 477 could be traced back to a retail purchaser in the United States.

The ease with which guns are purchased in the United States of America make them a common commodity and facilitates the lucrative illegal gun trade out of the country, the spoils of which trickle into the Caribbean.

CARICOM insists the United States must take the threat to life in the Caribbean seriously saying, “While the Region respects the rights of other states to establish liberal policies regarding access to guns, the negative impacts of these gun policies are not confined to their borders. They have very serious consequences for other countries, including the Caribbean nations, Mexico and the Central American states.”

CARICOM has named Transnational Organised Crime or the Trafficking of Illicit Drugs and Illegal Guns as a tier one crime describing it as an immediate and significant threat to the region.

Without stringent gun laws in the country of origin, stemming the flow of illegal guns is left up to the regional authorities in the Caribbean to shoulder and it is proving too heavy to bear.

Bahamas News




#TheBahamas, May 21, 2024 – On Wednesday, May 15, the Department effectively executed the repatriation of a group of illegal migrants from the Lynden Pindling International Airport, New Providence to Cap-Haitien, Haiti.

At approximately 9:11 a.m., a Bahamasair chartered flight departed New Providence en route to Haiti with one hundred twenty-four (124) Haitian nationals onboard; a hundred and eight (108) adult males, thirteen (13) adult females and three (3) minors. The Department’s Deportation and Enforcement Units led the escort.

All security and health protocols were observed as the safety and welfare of our officers, law enforcement counterparts and migrants remain the highest priority.

Continue Reading

Bahamas News

Introducing The Bahamas Cannabis Authority; Marijuana Bill tabled by Darville



Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer


#TheBahamas, May 20, 2024 – A medical marijuana industry is set for establishment in The Bahamas, following the tabling of the Cannabis Bill, 2024, in the House of Assembly, by Minister of Health and Wellness, Hon. Dr Michael Darville, May 15.

The Minister said objective of legislation is to set up a framework to establish The Bahamas Cannabis Authority, and to regulate the of importation, exportation, cultivation, processing, manufacturing, producing, sale, possession, distribution, and use of cannabis.

He told the Assembly that the law represents a thoughtful and balanced approach and was driven by a duty to act as he referenced the number of Bahamians who are battling cancer and in need of alternative treatments for pain management and other related issues.

“The legislative package, the Cannabis Bill, 2024 is designed to introduce a controlled system of cannabis use in medical treatments. The bill establishes the Bahamas Cannabis Authority.  A regulatory body overseeing all aspects of cannabis management and cultivation and distribution.  The authority’s mandate is to ensure that cannabis production and use are safe, controlled and effectively integrated into our health care system,” Minister Darville said.

Adding that the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill, 2023 that he also tabled, reclassifies cannabis by removing it from the dangerous drug list, now recognises its potential for medical use, he said the change aligns “our nations laws” with evolving global perspectives on cannabis.

The new law makes provisions for the licensing of cannabis handlers across various aspects of The Bahamas, and Dr. Darville said the licensing is structured to prioritise Bahamian ownership, with provisions ensuring that significant control remains in the hands of Bahamian nationals, fostering local entrepreneurship and economic benefits “for Bahamians across the country.

“We are here to make a difference, to enact change, remove years of stigma and transform lives by offering alternative treatments by way of medical cannabis.  The legislation before us offers a careful, considerate approach ensuring that we prioritize the wellbeing and safety of our citizens. Let us move with compassion,” he said.

Continue Reading

Bahamas News

Pinder announces Trial by Judge Alone, New Courts, Harsher Penalties in Judicial Reform legislative Package



Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer


#TheBahamas, May 20, 2024 – The Bahamian Government has moved to open new courts, increase penalties for serious and violent crimes, as part of its reform of the judiciary to create efficiency in the system, and gang reduction efforts.

Outlining the administration’s legislative agenda on crime reduction, and judicial reform, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Senator, the Hon. Ryan Pinder said in the coming months there will be the opening of the juvenile and family courts allowing “us to bring on new judges for criminal and civil matters.

“We also anticipate establishing this year a commercial court that will be focused on hearing commercial disputes to ensure that the pace of business is not impaired by delays in trials,” the Minister said while addressing the Senate on May 15.

He was presenting the second reading of the Trial by Judge Alone (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, 2024 and The Supreme Court (Amendment) Bill, 2024, which allows for the Supreme Court (Criminal Case Management) (Amendment) Rules, 2024.

Senator Pinder said the bills are in line with the commitment of this Government to ensure that the necessary laws are in place to facilitate the “timely and effective” administration of justice.

Stressing that the administration have been working hard this legislative session to put in place the improvements in law to address the judicial system as well as the treatment of bail for an accused, and ensuring stiff penalties for major criminal violations, he said  the Government have passed a series of legislation to facilitate trials and prosecution of criminals.

“I would suggest that we have done more on the legislative front than any former administration to address crime, and we are not done.”

“The Magistrates (Amendment) Bill increased the financial thresholds of the jurisdiction of a Magistrate to hear certain matters and adjusted the maximum penalties. The broadening of the jurisdiction of the Magistrates Court is intended to rebalance cases between the Supreme Court and the Magistrates Court in order to relieve the volume of minor disputes from the calendar of the Supreme Court,” he said.

For the magistrate’s court, he said, it is many instances the primary court for many civil and criminal cases, and especially in civil matters operating more of a small claims court, and the jurisdictional limits increased had not been adjusted in many years, and the operation of society has outpaced their limits.

The Court Services Bill empowers the judiciary to operate autonomously from an administrative point of view, by taking away oversight by central Government, thereby removing the bottleneck caused by the current system and providing further judicial independence.

For the Supreme Court (Amendment) Bill, it increases the maximum number of Supreme Court judges from 20 to 25, increasing the capacity to conduct trials in the Supreme Court by 25%.

“It is the Government’s intention that this not only contribute significantly to concluding the backlog of cases but will also give the Chief Justice the flexibility he requires to better allocated judges through the courts,” the Minister said.

The Trial by Judge Alone (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, 2024, to grant a right of election to persons charged with indictable offences in the Supreme Court to be tried by a Judge alone.

“We believe this is a positive legislative reform to provide yet more support for timely trials in criminal matters,” the Minister said.

Continue Reading