Laser marks 300 guns per month
Friday, November 18 2011
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Look this way: OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza, left, directs the attention of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and US Attorney General...
THE Police Service will use a new firearms laser marking machine to mark an average of 300 firearms per month over the course of next year.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar made this statement at a brief ceremony to receive one of those machines at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain yesterday. The machine was donated to the police by the United States (US) government through the Organisation of American States.
Persad-Bissessar said on July 27, Government entered into a “Cooperation Agreement for the Executions of a Project entitled-Promoting Firearms Marketing in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“This agreement facilitates the marking of firearms with a dot-peen pin marking machine, and improved exchange of information and experiences among OAS Member States. These are two essential tools in combating illicit firearms trafficking,” she said.
Firearms used by the police and other security forces are often marked as part of a basic inventory procedure. This allows the whereabouts and usage of any firearm at any specific time to be easily known.
Persad-Bissessar explained that by signing this agreement, “the OAS has committed to provide this marking machine to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, specifically the TT Police Service.” She said the police will have full responsibility for the use, care and maintenance of the machine.
The Prime Minister said once members of the Police Service have been trained to use the machine it will be used to mark firearms.
“I have been informed that this laser marking machine will increase the efficiency with which the Police Service currently conducts its routine marking.” She said in accordance with the terms of the agreement, “the Police Service has committed to mark an average of 300 firearms per month in the first 12 months, following receipt of the machine and accessories.” In October, a team from the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs came to TT to destroy some of the firearms seized by security forces during the state of emergency. Persad-Bissessar has lobbied the UN General Assembly to accept a proposal from TT for the establishment of a small arms treaty to curb trafficking in illegal firearms. US Attorney General Eric Holder Jr said the illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons was a major security concern for the countries of the Americas.
Expressing the US government’s satisfaction to be able to donate the firearms laser marking machine to TT, Holder Jr said, “Proper marking and efficient record keeping are key factors of any plan to investigate and interdict illicit trafficking in small arms.”
OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza said TT was the 16th OAS member state to have accepted such a machine.