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Govt moving to ban toy guns


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AMID POLICE concerns about the wanton abuse of firearms, Government is going to Parliament today to ban the importation of toy guns on pain of a stiff $100 000 penalty and two years’ jail.The toy guns, which must be capable of discharging any matter whatsoever accompanied by an explosion or gun-like sound, form part of a list of prohibited imports covered by an amendment to the Customs Act following publication of the Customs (List of Prohibited and Restricted Imports and Exports) Order 2009. That order was made by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance David Thompson on October 29, 2009.
The proposed ban coincides with a recent spate of shootings and violent crimes, including last weekend’s bloody events that left two men fatally shot and another brutally stabbed to death.Prohibited imports include counterfeit coin, or substandard coin; food unfit for human consumption; indecent or obscene prints, paintings, photographs, books, cards, lithographic or other engravings or any other indecent or obscene articles; infected cattle, sheep or other animals or carcasses, as well as hides, skins, horns, hoofs or any other part which may be prohibited in order to prevent the introduction or spread of any communicable disease.Other prohibited items include prepared opium or pipes or other utensils for use in connection with the smoking or the preparation of opium for smoking; fictitious stamps and any die, plate, instrument or materials capable of making such stamps; fruits or vegetables – other than dried or canned – from Florida unless accompanied by a Phytosanitary Certificate certifying them free from the Mediterranean fly; and ozone-depleting substances or chemicals.Restricted imports include arms and ammunition, except under licence issued by the minister; cannabis, imitation currency notes; spirits, unless specifically reported as such and unless in an aircraft or in ships of at least 23 tons, and in casks and other vessels capable of containing liquids, each of such casks or other vessels being the size of content of nine gallons, or unless in glass or stone bottles packed in cases, or in demijohns, each case or demijohn not less than one gallon.Also on the restricted list are tobacco, cigars, cigarillos and cigarettes along with tobacco extracts.Ozone-depleting substances and refrigerant blends are also on the list of prohibited and restricted exports.Intransit goods or goods as part of the stores of a ship or aircraft shall not be deemed prohibited or restricted unless by an enactment.The amendment says any person who harbours, keeps, conceals, permits, suffers, causes, or procures to be harboured, kept or concealed goods; or is in any way concerned with the carrying, removing, depositing, concealing of, or in any manner dealing with such goods with intent to evade the prohibition or restriction applicable is guilty of an offence and for each offence is liable to a fine of $100 000 or three times the value of the goods, whichever is the greater, or to imprisonment for a term of two years or both.Prohibited goodsA similar penalty awaits anyone who acquires possession of, or is found in possession of prohibited or restricted goods unless they can prove to the satisfaction of the court that they were issued with a valid licence by the minister under the Miscellaneous Controls Act.All prohibited or restricted goods in respect of which an offence is committed are liable to forfeiture.Also on the Order Paper for today’s sitting of the House of Assembly is a supplementary resolution for $3 057 million, the bulk of which – $2 021 million – will be to cover the cost of maintenance and insurance for the Judicial Centre. $996 820 is required to pay contributions to CARICOM IMPACS (Implementation Agency for Crime and Security).