National Security Minister Jack Warner says he intends to look into concerns raised by business people about the difficulty in obtaining firearm licences.
Speaking at the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce's breakfast meeting on Wednesday, at Westmoorings, the Minister said business owners are placed at an unfair advantage when criminals have weapons and they don't.
"And all the applications are there... and I will deal with that Friday morning at 5 a.m. (when Warner has a meeting with the police executive) because it is wrong for businessmen to go through all the tests, psychological tests, polygraph tests, all the screening and vetting. They do everything, including medical tests, and yet nothing is being shown to them," he said.
Warner added that applications for firearms had been on file for years without a response. The Police Commissioner has sole responsibility for the granting or refusal of a firearm licence. An aggrieved party can challenge the Commissioner's decision before the Firearm Appeal Tribunal.
Meanwhile, Warner also said he would give police officers $1.3 million to introduce a plan to revitalise their public image.
"I met them this (yesterday) morning and $1.3 million is worth it, it's a good investment. It will be monitored from the Ministry. We had some questions... and they all answered them and I left there very happy indeed that they came and they want to do a transition of the Police Service. This was not so in the past, this is their initiative and this is what I was happy about."
Warner also said a US-based firm, Harris Communications, is here for two days as his Ministry works hard to revamp the E-999 response system.
"Harris Communications will be meeting with me and the staff to revamp the E-999 to have new call centres, to reduce the number of various calls in the country, and to make E-999 more responsible. So they are here for two days and then they will come back and do the project over 18 months," he said.
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