Guns in the Bahamas: About the weapon

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Guns in the Bahamas: About the weapon
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20 p.
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English
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Carroll, Marie.
Brennen, Shane.
Hutcheson, Stephanie.
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The College of The Bahamas
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Nassau, Bahamas
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Guns--Bahamas   ( lcsh )

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This paper examines types of guns owned by Bahamian residents.

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College of The Bahamas
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College of The Bahamas
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All rights reserved by the source institution.
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AA00012399:00001


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Draft: Violence Symposium, 3rd November 2011 Page | 1 Guns in The Bahamas: (2) About the weapon Marie Carroll, Shane Brenne n & Stephanie Hutcheson School of Social Sciences The College of The Bahamas, Nassau, New Providence, The Bahamas Abstract This paper examines the types of guns owned a nd used by 238 residents of The Bahamas. Most of these weapons were licensed shotguns (76.5%), however few (25.1%) were used primarily for hunting. When considering the licensing, use and storage of weapons, the majority of the guns (82.8%) were kept in breach of their permits. Given the increasing le vel of crime in The Bahamas and calls for society to have weapons for personal protection, th ese findings highlight the need for public debate on the co nflict between the law and society. It is virtually impossible for Bahamians to lega lly come into possession of a firearm, according to Desmond Bannister, Minister of State For Legal Affairs, who says firearms legislation in this country is among the toughest in the region. Epstein (2007, para 1) Introduction Guns are weapons designed to harm both human and non-human animals. By their very design they are dangerous. The danger which firearms pose to society in The Bahamas has been illustrated by Hanna (2005) who has shown that firearms (hand guns) are the homicide weapon of choice in Bahamian society ( 52.5% of homicides) as the homi cide rate has been steadily climbing (Plumridge & Fielding, 20 09) and has now become one of the highest per capita rates in the region (Harrendorf, He iskanen, & Malby, 2010). Hanna also indicates that while handguns were the most common firearm used to k ill people, shotguns were also used in 15% of homicides involving guns. The United Nations Statis tics Division reported the intentional murder rate as 13.7 per 100,000 in 2004, which placed The Bahamas 22nd in a list of 133 territories (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2010) Consequently, examination of the use and

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Draft: Violence Symposium, 3rd November 2011 Page | 2 prevalence of guns is vital in order for society to be protected from their misuse. As reported by Hutcheson, Brennen, Bethel, & Carroll, 2011) the estimated number of guns per 100 in The Bahamas (8.8% per 1000) is above that in Columbia (7.2%) (Small Arms Survey, 2007), a country infamous for its violence (Holmes et al, 2010). Hutcheson, Br ennen, Bethel, & Carroll, 2011) also indicate that the figures for The Ba hamas may be higher than the 5.3% reported by Alpers and Wilson in 2010. The danger which guns pose is well recognized. In The Statute Laws of The Bahamas, The Firearms Act, Chapter 213, is devoted to laws regarding firearms in The Bahamas (Bahamas Government, 2007). As well as requiring that firearms are licensed, anyone who “is of intemperate habits or unsound mind, or is otherwise unfitted to be entrusted with such a firearm” (para. 10.7a) or under 18 years of age is prohibited from ow ning a firearm (para. 29(1)), amongst other restrictions. The law recognizes th at while members of society may own firearms for recreational use, the law also recognizes that firearms are dangerous and so attempts to ensure that their use is restricted in order to protect society from the terror which can result when firearms are used illegally (f or example, Urbina, 2006). Thus, given their increasing usage and the violence associated with guns, it is clear th at society should have an understanding of how owners of firearms keep their weapons and for which purposes they are used. Weapons are possessed within a le gal framework. In The Bahamas, firearms must be licensed according to Chapter 213 as mentioned above. In brief, this requires the owner of the firearm to apply for a license and in so doi ng, state the purpose for which the applicant wishes to use the firearm. The police perform selected checks on the applicant to ensure that the character of the applicant conforms to that in Chapter 213. This essentially requires the person not be a criminal

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Draft: Violence Symposium, 3rd November 2011 Page | 3 and be of sound mind. The applicant is not subject to formal psychological testing. The law also states that firearms must be kept unloaded and in a locked safe when not in use. There are two stores in The Bahamas which sell firearms (one in New Providence and one in Abaco) listed in the Bahamas Local web site http://www.bahamaslocal.com/category/949/10/default/1/Guns_and_Gunsmiths.html ). One is clearly associated with outdoor activities, while the other se lls a range of products designed to protect property. It is of inte rest to note the different asso ciations of these two shops, one hunting and the other protection. Typically firearms are licensed for hunting, thus the most common gun licenses are issued are for shotguns and rifles. According to reports in the media, in 2010, the Commissioner of Police had stated that there were 15,545 licensed shotguns an d 1,565 rifles (para. 2) and that there was a “noticeable increase” in numbers since the previous year (para. 1). No figure was given for the number of hand guns (Rolle, 2010). The cost of a shotgun license is $50 per year, and that for a rifle, $100 (Bahamas Government, 2006). Licens es must be renewed annually. Although hand guns are not outlawed, these requir e the owner to have a special license which must be approved by the Commissioner of Police, and so it is unusua l for residents to obtain permission to own a handgun. It should be noted that the cost of a license for a hand gun is not given on the Bahamas government webpage (http://forms.bahamas.gov.bs /dp_form.asp?fid=303), which suggests that applications for hand gun licenses are not encourag ed. Consequently, the discussion of licensed firearms in The Bahamas would be expect ed to focus on firearms used for hunting. The purpose of this paper is to describe how guns are kept and used in The Bahamas and to consider the implications of gun ownership for the safety and wellbeing of society.

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Draft: Violence Symposium, 3rd November 2011 Page | 4 Methodology The data reported in this paper arise from the study on guns reported by Hutcheson, Brennen, Bethel, & Carroll, 2011). A survey was posted on Survey Monkey™. The survey included questions on gun ownership as it related to (a) the person who controlled the firearm, (b) characteristics and behaviours of those within th e household and (c) the types of firearms kept and their use. During the Spring 2010 semester, College of the Bahamas students from several Social Science classes, contacted people by email to solicit participation in the study. Students were given credit for participation in the solicitation of respondents. The research project was carried out with the co nsent of the Office of Research, International relations and Graduate Programmes of The College of The Bahamas. A total of 1,813 replies were re ceived. Some of these were sp arsely completed and others appeared to be duplicates (possibly because the participants may have thought that their first submission failed). As the purpose of the study was to examine gun ownership in The Bahamas by Bahamians, only responses from Bahamians liv ing in The Bahamas were retained in the analysis. Consequently after cleaning the data, we report on 1,281 responses. This paper reports on only those questions from the larger survey which describes the gun and its use. Future papers will consider the charac teristics of the home in which guns are found and describe the characteristics of the person who cont rols the firearm. It should be noted that in households where there were multiple guns, responde nts were asked to select just one firearm and report on just that one. Therefore it is important to recognise th at there may be a bias

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Draft: Violence Symposium, 3rd November 2011 Page | 5 towards reporting on a licensed, ra ther than unlicensed, weapon in these cases. In the case of illegal weapons, respondents may have failed to answer questions rather than give responses which might highlight the illegal nature of the gun ownership. Particip ants were free not to answer all questions and so not all survey forms were complete. Given that the majority of guns reported on we re hunting weapons, the results sections will highlight these weapons in particular. Results The respondents provided information on 238 firear ms whose type was stated. Of these, one was described as a police firearm, and so was clas sified as a hand gun. The type of firearm was reported as unknown by 25 people and an additiona l 32 people did not respond to the question with regard to type. Of the 238 firearms whic h could be classified: 76.5% were shotguns, 13.0% were handguns and 10.5% were rifles. Only eight (3.4% of 236) firearms were controlled by females. Of these eight weapons, five were handguns and no woman controlled a rifle. The median age of persons who controlled handg uns was slightly lower at 40.7 years, compared to those who controlled rifles (45 years) and shotguns (44.8 year s). Only one person under 18 controlled a firearm and that was a handgun. The median household income was highest in those homes which reported possessing a rifle ($60,000), and least in hom es which reported possessing a shotgun ($48,781), and in homes with handguns the median income was $52,000.

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Draft: Violence Symposium, 3rd November 2011 Page | 6 Most firearms were bought. The majority of respondents did not know the provenance of the firearm about which they reported. However, in the case of those who did know, 75% or more of shotguns and rifles were bought, which contra sted with the diverse sources of hand guns, Table 1. Table 1: Source of fir earm by type of firearm Type of firearm Rifle HandgunShotgun Bought 87.5%16.7%75.0% Not sure 0.0%16.7%6.3% Gift 0.0%16.7%4.2% Inherited 12.5%16.7%4.2% Special issue 0.0%16.7%4.2% Job/security 0.0%0.0%4.2% Bought overseas 0.0%0.0%2.1% Borrowed from a friend 0.0%16.7%0.0% Not sure 0.0%16.7%6.3% N 8648 The majority or respondents indi cated that the firearms were licensed (92.8% of 236), but 3.4% had never been licensed. Handguns were least lik ely to be licensed, and also be most likely never to have been licensed firearms ( 2 (6, N = 236) = 45.4, p < .001), Table 2. Table 2: Type of firearm by license status. Type of firearm Is this firearm licensed? Rifle HandgunShotgun Yes 92.0% 66.7%97.2% No, never 8.0% 20.0%0.0% Not now, was once 0.0% 0.0%0.6% Do not know 0.0% 13.3%2.2% N 25 30181

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Draft: Violence Symposium, 3rd November 2011 Page | 7 It appears that the majority of firearms are kept in breach of licenses. Even if the firearm is licensed, if its primary purpose is not for hunting, as in the case of shotguns and rifles, then the firearm is being kept in breach of its permit (Table 3). Table 3: Primary purpose of forearm by license status. Firearm currently licensed: Yes No, never Not now, was once Do not know Total Hunting 23.3% 0.0%0.0%0.0%23.3% Protect a workplace 12.1% 0.0%0.0%0.4%12.5% Protect the home 51.4% 1.6%0.4%4.3%57.6% For protection on the street 2.3% 1.6%0.0%2.7%6.6% N 229 8119257 The importance of keeping a firearm for protec tion was made clear in the open ended question concerning the need for a firearm for the “leg itimate job” of the person who controlled the weapon (Table: 4). Table 4: Reasons given by respondents for a pers on to keep a firearm for their legitimate job, by type of firearm, number of replies. Type of firearm Does the person need the firearm for hi s/her legitimate job? Rifle Handgun Shotgun A Judge 00 1 also owns a bar 00 1 He has one for his job and two for personal benefits also. 10 0 He is now retired, but was a law enforcement officer and owned a security firm when he purchased the gun. 00 1 he is self employed 00 1 his store 00 1 hunting 00 1 keep niggaz away 01 0 Keep the shop 10 0 owns a business 00 1 Please note that primary owner is retired. 00 1

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Draft: Violence Symposium, 3rd November 2011 Page | 8 Type of firearm Does the person need the firearm for hi s/her legitimate job? Rifle Handgun Shotgun protection 00 1 self employed 00 1 Sometimes it is used for security at work 00 1 work as security but not w ith a security firm 00 1 Yes She owns a business with large cash in flow 00 1 yes, business owner 00 1 Yes, he is a businessman 01 0 yes, he is a truck driver(som etimes work at night) 00 1 yes, owns a business 00 1 Yes, refrigeration shop 01 0 Yes, s/he is a liquor store employee 00 1 Actual responses given Firearms were kept in a dive rse selection of places around th e home, in the car and hidden outside the home. Bedrooms and closets were popular places for storing firearms (Table 5). These places are consistent with easy access in case of the need to protect the home. Table 5: Place where respondents indicated that the firearm is usually kept. Type of firearm Rifle Hand gun Shot gun Safe/gun safe 41.7%29.6%59.6% Closet 29.2%11.1%9.4% Gun case 4.2%3.7%3.5% Hidden 0.0%11.1%3.5% Under the bed 8.3%3.7%2.9% Parents bedroom 0.0%3.7%1.8% bedroom 0.0%0.0%1.2% Home 0.0%0.0%1.2% In a safe place 0.0%0.0%1.2% In the bed of my parents 0.0%0.0%1.2% Room 0.0%3.7%1.2% Attic 0.0%0.0%0.6% Behind the dresser 0.0%0.0%0.6% Foyer 0.0%0.0%0.6% Gun safe and sometimes in our car 0.0%0.0%0.6% In a case over head in the man 0.0%0.0%0.6%

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Draft: Violence Symposium, 3rd November 2011 Page | 9 Type of firearm Rifle Hand gun Shot gun hole In a locked cabinet 0.0%0.0%0.6% In the shop and in the car 0.0%0.0%0.6% Lock up 0.0%0.0%0.6% Locked cabinet 0.0%3.7%0.6% Parents' closet 0.0%0.0%0.6% Special place in my Dad’s room 0.0%0.0%0.6% Under the bed or in the closet 0.0%0.0%0.6% Various locations 0.0%0.0%0.6% Vehicle 0.0%0.0%0.6% Will not tell 0.0%3.7%0.6% Buried in the yard 0.0%3.7%0.0% Drawer 0.0%3.7%0.0% In a private special place in the home. 4.2%0.0%0.0% In the ceiling 4.2%0.0%0.0% In the den 0.0%3.7%0.0% In the space ship* 4.2%0.0%0.0% Loaded next to the bed 4.2%0.0%0.0% Only one person knows 0.0%3.7%0.0% Under the mattress 0.0%3.7%0.0% Do not know 0.0%7.4%4.7% N 2427171 *This was the exact response give n, we do not know what it means Almost 30% of the firearms were kept loaded, and 18.1% were not sure if the firearm was kept loaded, thus the percentage could be as high as 47.5% (Table 6). Table 6: Loaded status by type of firearm. Type of firearm The firearm is usually kept loaded Rifle Hand gun Shot gun Total Yes 40.0%38.7%26.4%29.4% No 48.0%38.7%55.5%52.5% Do not know 12.0%22.6%18.1%18.1% N 2531182238

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Draft: Violence Symposium, 3rd November 2011 Page | 10 Most guns were inaccessible to other members of the household, but 15.5% of the guns were always accessible to other household members (Table 7). Table 7: Accessibility of fi rearm by type of firearm. Type of firearm The firearm accessible to other members of the household Rifle Hand gun Shot gun Total Yes, always 32.0%16.1% 13.2% 15.5% Yes, sometimes 20.0%19.4% 17.0% 17.6% No 48.0%64.5% 69.8% 66.8% N 2531 182 238 The data above indicate that many guns were not ke pt in a safe, or even under lock and key or unloaded when not in use. When consideration was made as to whether or not the weapon was (a) licensed, (b) kept under lo ck and key and (c) kept unloade d and (d) kept primarily for hunting, the majority of rifles a nd shotguns (over 80%) were also be ing kept illegally (Table 8). Overall, of the 238 weapons reported, 82.8% were kept illegally. Table 8: Guns classified by legal status of the gun Status Rifle Hand gun Shot gun Kept illegally 68.0% 96.8% 82.4% Kept legally 32.0% 3.2% 15.4% Not clear 0.0% 0.0% 2.2% N 25 31 182 Only hand guns were unambiguously reported as bei ng used in criminal ac tivities and only rifles were definitely not used in criminal acts (Table 9) This contrasted with the use of all types of guns to threaten members of the household (Table 10).

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Draft: Violence Symposium, 3rd November 2011 Page | 11 Table 9: Use of firearms in criminal activities Type of firearm Rifle Hand gun Shot gun Total Yes 0.0% 6.5% 0.0% 0.9% No 100.0 % 80.6% 98.9 % 96.6 % As far as you are aware has the firearm ever been used in a criminal act? Do not know 12.9% 1.1%2.6% N 2531 179235 Table 10: Use of firearms to threaten household members Type of firearm Rifle Hand gun Shot gun Total Yes 8.3%10.0% 1.2%3.1% Has this firearm ever been used to threaten any member of the household? No 91.7%90.0% 98.8%96.9% N 24 30 170224 Hunting Below we focus on firearms used (or which shoul d be used) for hunting as this is the most common type of licensed firearm. The majority of rifles and shot guns were not used for hunting (Table 11) and not surprisingly, no hand guns were used for hunting. When the firearm was used for hunting, New Providence was the most popular place for this past time (Table 11). Only one shotgun was used on the

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Draft: Violence Symposium, 3rd November 2011 Page | 12 firing range on Gladstone Road. Th e most likely victims of hunter s were birds, followed by wild pigs (Table 12). When people hunted, rifle owners went hunting a median of twice a year and shotgun owners a median of three times a year. Table 11: Location at which hunting occurred by type of firearm. Type of firearm Rifle Hand gun Shot gun Total Not response, no hunting, no longer hunting 64.0%100.0%77.4%78.9% Abaco 4.0% 0.5%0.8% “All over” 0.5%0.4% Andros 12.0% 4.4%4.6% Do not know 1.0%0.8% Eleuthera 4.0% 0.5%0.8% Exuma 1.1%0.8% Exuma and Ragged Island 0.5%0.4% Family Island (unstated) 0.5%0.4% Grand Bahama 0.5%0.4% Grand Bahama, Abaco 0.5%0.4% “Has not had an opportunity to yet” 0.5%0.4% Long Island 1.1%0.8% Nassau and some Family islands 0.5%0.4% Nassau or Andros 0.5%0.4% New Providence 16.0% 7.1%7.1% North Eleuthera Current 0.5%0.4% “Out in the cays” 0.5%0.4% Ragged Island 0.5%0.4% Rose Island 0.5%0.4% N 25 32 182238 Table 12: Object of hunt ing by type of firearm Type of firearm Rifle Shotgun Total Birds 85.7% 75.0% 76.6% Birds & pigs 0.0% 12.5% 10.6%

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Draft: Violence Symposium, 3rd November 2011 Page | 13 Wild pigs 14.3% 5.0% 6.4% Wild life, birds, etc. 0.0% 2.5% 2.1% Not sure 0.0% 2.5% 2.1% Nothing 0.0% 2.5% 2.1% N 74047 Hunting occurs in a number of locations acr oss the country (Table 9). The most common location for hunting was New Providence (8% of 238) This island is the most populous in the country and so may be the least appropriate fo r hunting with guns as it would be easy for members of the general pub lic to be put at risk. Not all the respondents hunted on the island on whic h they usually lived (Table 13). This probably means that guns and ammunition are trans ported by sea or air, as well on land on these hunting expeditions. The majority of hunters in New Providence travel to other islands to hunt, which is different from hunters on other islands. Table 13: Location of hunting by usual place of residence of the hunter (52 responses) Usual place of residence Location of hunting New Providence Grand Bahama Family Island New Providence 34.6% 0.0%0.0% Grand Bahama 1.0% 1.9% 0.0% Family Island 41.3%0.0% 19.2% All over 1.9%0.0%0.0% (Where respondents indicated that they hunted in multiple locations, their count value was divided by the number of locations). Discussion The respondents provided information on 238 firear ms. In response to the question: “What type of firearm is it?” the survey included an additi onal 57 responses of which the person either did

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Draft: Violence Symposium, 3rd November 2011 Page | 14 not know the type of firearm owned, or did not answer the question. The large number of nonresponses to this question should be noted when interpreting the re sults. If all these firearms were illegal or hand guns, they would have important consequen ces on some of the inferences we can draw. The problem of non-response when asking respondents to provide, what they may feel to be incriminating data, is to be exp ected, however, we would hope that despite this limitation, the important findings of this study remain valid. Hand guns Granting of special licenses for hand guns is rare and so for the study to obtain information on any hand guns within the home is im portant, and the fact that slight ly more hand guns than rifles, were reported on, is also of inte rest. We note that 13.0% of the guns in our sample were hand guns as opposed to 10.5% which were rifles and 76.5% which were shotguns. If the figure of 10.5% corresponds to the number of rifles (1,565), and the 76.5% co rresponds to the number of shotguns, then we can estimate the handgun popul ation to be between 2,000 and 3,000, taking into account that not all rifl es and shotguns are licensed. As would be expected, none of the hand guns were used for hunting, and so points to the fact that these guns are exclusively used to protect the ow ner, his or her family and possessions, and/or may even be used in criminal activities. Purpose of owning a gun In theory, the police gran t licenses for residents to hunt. Given the size of the country, and the uneven population distribution across the islands hunting opportunities are limited. This is

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Draft: Violence Symposium, 3rd November 2011 Page | 15 indicated by the fact that while New Provide nce in the most common place for hunting, hunters travel overseas to other islands to hunt. This movement of guns and ammunition from one island to another may also be a cause for concern unl ess they are transported in ways which are consistent with stringent safety regulations. The study shows that when guns are used for hunting that they are probably going to be taken from on island to another. This movement of guns and ammunition is not without risk. The cons equences in failing to transport guns with care has been illustrated in the d eath of a person while travelling on a boat on a pigeon shoot (Man dies ‘in shooting accident’, 2010, p 1). However, most guns were kept for protection. Th is presumes a belief that gun ownership is a defense against an assault. Although in the United States, Branas, Richmond, Culhane, Have and Wiebe (2009) found no evidence to support this position, the local perception is that gun ownership is an effective means of protection. This technically resu lts in a disconnection between the purpose for which guns are license d by the police and their actual use. The disconnection between what the law permits and the actual pu rpose of owning a firearm is receiving more attention in the press as business owners seek easier access to hand guns (Nicolls, 2009) in order to protect themselves, their familie s and possessions. Of note, debate does not include any reference to the evid ence, such as Branas et al. (2 009), which woul d not support the case of liberalizing gun ownershi p. While most guns are licensed for hunting purposes, few of them are used for hunting, and those which are use d, are used infrequently. However, it is clear from the figures presented by Hanna (2005), that handguns, rifles and shotguns have all been used to kill people in robbe ries (Turnquest, 2011).

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Draft: Violence Symposium, 3rd November 2011 Page | 16 Society and the authorities have an ambivale nt attitude towards gun ownership, the permit and the gun’s use. This is illustrated in the newspa per report in which a shot gun was used to harm an intruder: Armed with a licensed shotgun, Mr Todd or dered the robber to "freeze" as he tried in vain to "buzz" th e door open. Then, according to a member of staff, the robber reached for his gun forcing Mr Todd to fire his first shot hitting him in the face and sending the man to the ground. He then had to open fire again when the robber attempted to retrieve his gun. The suspect was handcuffed, questioned by th e police and then rushed to hospital. Money was left scattered across the floor. An employee said: "Honestly, I was just hoping he was dead because this is not the first time we were robbed. This was the first one for the year. My thoughts were just, I hope he was dead”, (Nicolls, 2010, p. 1). The report suggests that because the shotgun wa s licensed, its use to protect property was acceptable, and also demonstrates the belief that guns are an effective means of protection from potential criminals. It is obvious that the em ployee was disappointed th at the intruder was not actually killed by the shotgun, and there was no mention in the report of police charging Mr. Todd for using his shotgun for a purpose other th an hunting. The use of a hunting weapon to protect businesses was considered by some of our respondents as needing the weapon for the owner’s “legitimate” job, even though the expectat ion would be that the purpose for which the license was issued was for hunting. This confus ion in the mind of the general public concerning what is the permitted use of a licensed firearm s uggests that there is a need for a discussion on the purpose of having gun licenses or whether there should be gun li censes available for additional purposes. The fees for gun licensure are not large (in Barbad os the fee is BD$500.00; Ernst & Young, 2009) and therefor e are unlikely to make the li censing a useful generator of

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Draft: Violence Symposium, 3rd November 2011 Page | 17 revenue. From the email responses to Nicolls’ ar ticle, it appears that the debate regarding gun licensure for reasons other than hunting, i.e., prot ection, would be divisive and this may explain why lawmakers have been unwilling to engage in this debate. Keeping the gun While many guns in this study were licensed, it is apparent that mo st were not kept in the manner required. This would suggest that either such gun s should be confiscated or premises need to be inspected to ensure that the w eapons are safely kept. A report of a hunter being accidentally killed illustrates this (“Man dies 'in shooti ng accident'”, 2010, p 1). Keeping weapons under beds etc, and loaded, indicates that owners are seeking to have easy access to the weapon, which would be consistent with protecting property. However, such easy access is of concern when these same weapons are used to threaten househ old members. Given that homes with which weapons are kept are at higher ri sk of being places undesirable ac tivities occur (Brennen et al, 2010), easy access to weapons may indeed be a da nger to the occupants of the household. Media reports of guns being used in domestic argum ents supports this concern (Turnquest, 2010). Summary This paper highlights some of the inconsistenc ies between gun ownership and the law. On one hand the licenses are issued for firearm owners to hunt, but clearly society wants weapons to protect property and person. Provided the firearm is licensed, its use or stor age appears to be of secondary consideration. Clearl y, society needs to re solve some fundament al questions which include: (a) Does the country wish the citizenry to be armed?

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Draft: Violence Symposium, 3rd November 2011 Page | 18 (b) If so, what are the terms and conditions wh ich should apply to the ownership of firearms? (c) Is there a need to more fully enforce on the restrictions of gun ownership? It is apparent that the present situation is c ontradictory. Many people are keeping weapons in breach of the law because the crime rate has beco me such that non-criminal citizens feel they must own a gun for their and their family’s own protection, thus the deba te ensues regarding whether there should be le galization of guns ownershi p for self-protection. Acknowledgements The authors are grateful to the assistance from the Office of Research, Graduation Programmes and International Relations while this project was be ing undertaken. They are grateful for the comments of Virginia Ballance and Lisa Benj amin on an earlier draft of this paper.

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Draft: Violence Symposium, 3rd November 2011 Page | 19 References Alpers, P., & Wilson, M. (2010). Small arms in the Bahamas: Fa cts, figures and firearm law. Retrieved from http://www.gunpolic y.org/firearms/region/bahamas Bahamas Information Services (2001). Agricult ure Department updating Wild Birds Protection Act. Retrieved from http://www.bahamas.gov.bs/Baham asWeb/press.nsf/24c431a1be26853606256a6f0062b2 f4/871a475e497ee96b85256a9a006a4427!OpenDocument Bahamas National Trust, (n.d.). Hunters guide for The Bahamas Nassa, Bahamas: Author. Retrieved from http://www.bnt.bs/pdfs/huntersguide.pdf Branas, C. C., Richmond, T. S., Culhane, D. P ., Have, T., & Wiebe, D. J. (2009). Investigating the link between gun possession and gun assault. American Journal of Public Health 99 (11), 2034-2040. PLEASE get into the habit of using DOIs. They are dead easy to find on www.crossref.org/guestquery. Epstein, R. (2007, November 24). No need for tougher gun laws.. The Bahama Journal, PPP would be helpfil. Retrieved from: http://www.jonesbahamas.com/?c=45&a=14952 Ernst & Young. (2009). Focus on Barbados budget, 2009. Retrieved from http://www.icab.bb/UserFiles/ File/Budget2009pdf%20EY.pdf Harrendorf, S., Heiskanen, M., & Malby, S. (Eds.). (2010). International statistics on crime and justice Helsinki, Finland: European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control Affiliated with the United Nations Retrieved from http://www.heuni.fi/Satellite ?blobtable=MungoBlobs&blobc ol=urldata&SSURIapptype= BlobServer&SSURIcontainer=Default&SSU RIsession=false&blobkey=id&blobheaderva lue1=inline; filename=Hakapaino_f inal_07042010.pdf&SSURIsscontext=Satellite Server&blobwhere=1266335656647& blobheadername1=ContentDisposition&ssbinary=true&b lobheader=application/pdf Hutcheson, S., Brennen, S., Bethel, N., & Carroll, M. (2011). Guns in The Bahamas: (1) Firearms in Bahamian homes. Violence Symposium, 3rd November 2011, Nassau, The Bahamas Bahamas Government (2006). Gun licence application. https://forms.bahamas.gov.bs/dp form.asp?fid=303 (I think that the url might be better placed right in the document rather than as a scholarly reference….VB) Government of The Bahamas (2007). CHAPTER 213 FIREARMS http://laws.bahamas.gov.bs/sta tutes/statute chapter 213.html

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Draft: Violence Symposium, 3rd November 2011 Page | 20 Hanna, C. (2005). Homicide in The Bahamas 1991-2003: A descriptive research study Nassau, Bahamas: Royal Bahamas Police Force. Holmes, J., Amin Gutirrez de Pieres, S., & Curtin, K. M. (2003). Drugs, democracy, development and violence in Colomb ia: A department level analysis" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia Marriott Hotel, Philadelphia, PA Retrieved from http://www.essex.ac.uk/ecpr/events/jointsess ions/paperarchive/edinburgh/ws4/Holmes.pd f http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p62999 index.html Man dies ‘in shooting accid ent’. (2010, November 8). The Tribune. Retrieved from http://www.tribune242.com/searchre sults/11082010_abacoshooting_news_pg1 Nicolls, N. (2009, December 16). Business chiefs in handgun plea.. The Tribune Retrieved from http://www.tribune242.com/search results/16122009_nkn-handguns_news_pg1 Nicolls, N. (2010, February 3). Robb er shot trying to 'buzz' ou t of building. Tribune. Retrieved from http://www.tribune242.com/sear chresults/02032010_nkn-shooting_news_pg1 Rolle, K. (2010). Greenslade spike in number of firearm license applications. July 7. The Nassau Guardian. http://www.thenassauguardia n.com/national_local/52195140333765.php Turnquest, A., (2010, June 24). Pregnant’ woman dies after shooting.. The Tribune. Retrieved from: http://www.tribune242.com/searchresults/06242010_murders_news_pg1 Turnquest, A., (2011). Man shot dead afte r resisting armed robbers. February 28. The Tribune Retrieved from http://www.tribune2 42.com/news/02282011_at-josephmurder_news_pg1 U. N. Office on Drugs and Crime (2010). In tentional homicide, rate per 100,000 population. Retrieved from: http://data.un.org/Data.asp x?d=UNODC&f=tableCode%3a1 Urbina, Ian (2006, May 31). "Was hington-area sniper convicte d of 6 more killings". The New York Times Retrieved from http://www.nytimes .com/2006/05/31/us/31sniper.html.