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FLA to face court over withholding cop’s firearm

Monday, June 24, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Board of the Firearms Licensing Authority (FLA) is to face a legal challenge over claims that it has breached a court order to return a policeman's weapon, despite the board contending that the court made no such order.

On March 12, the claimant, Constable Sancho Summerville, went to renew his license when his firearm was seized on grounds that adverse traces were detected.

Attorney Hugh Wildman, who is representing the claimant, subsequently made an application in the Supreme Court on April 8 for a judicial review to quash the FLA's decision and also for the FLA to return his client's firearm.

Following that hearing, Wildman reported that Justice Courtney Daye had given the FLA 45 days to return his client's weapon if there was no reason to hold on to the weapon.

But to date, Summerville is still without his firearm and his license was also revoked by the FLA on April 25. As a result, Wildman filed a motion yesterday in the Supreme Court against the FLA board, seeking the court's intervention to compel FLA to return his client's firearm.

Chief Executive Officer of the FLA, Shane Dalling and board members Justice Marva McIntosh, Ena Rose, Aneica Neita, and Albert Edwards were listed as defendants.

“Each of the defendants, along with Mr Shane Dalling, the CEO, is a member of the Board of the Firearm Licensing Authority, and is personally liable for failing to comply with the order of Justice Courtney Day,” Summerville said in the affidavit.

He further pointed out that the authority had breached the court's order by revoking his license.

Additionally, the constable in the affidavit also indicated that FLA revoked his firearm license without giving him any additional reason for its refusal to return the firearm.

But the FLA in a press release posted on its website on April 10, had rubbished the report about the judge giving it 45 days to return Summerville's firearm as false.

“The FLA received information from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) that Constable Summerville was disarmed of his service weapon(s) and was not allowed to bear arms in the performance of his duties as a policeman or otherwise. This decision, the JCF stated, was in the public's interest.

“Based on that information, the FLA launched an investigation concerning the matter, completed the investigation and was in the process of making a decision. The Supreme Court did not order the FLA to return Constable Summerville's firearm to him.

“The order of the court was for the FLA to make a decision based on the completed investigation within 45 days of the date of the court hearing,” the FLA said in the release.

Efforts to contact Dalling yesterday for a comment were unsuccessful

But Wildman, in the meantime, has maintained that Justice Daye had made an order for the FLA to return his client's firearm within 45 days, which has long pass, hence his reason for going back to court.

Tanesha Mundle


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