Think Before You Act

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A story came to our attention over the weekend that we thought you may have missed with the carnival festivities and all. Being somewhat unique, in that, it veers in another direction fromkillings and ‘dotish’ politicians, we thought that it required your attention. A Canadian who was held recently at Piarco on charges related to possession of ammunition has alluded that the justice system here is run by unscrupulous entities and that he would not be returning unless it was absolutely necessary. And while we sympathise with anyone except bandits but a foreigner especially, who has had to spend even a moment in our local jail, we also feel that people need to be mindful of the laws of any country through which they travel.

The gist of the matter is that the man was found to be in possession of empty bullet casings that were fashioned into key chains when he arrived at Piarco from Georgetown, Guyana en route to Toronto. While an empty bullet casing is unable to be fired, it is still illegal for one to be in possession of it without a licence. And that’s the law. Faced with the even more serious charge of attempting to board an aircraft with ammunition, he was afforded an all expenses paid week at one of our local prisons before he was finally fined and allowed to fly home. The poor chap is now telling his woeful tale to the media back home while heaping criticism on our justice system.

But before travelling from his home country where laws regarding the possession of ammunition are obviously different, shouldn’t he have at least checked out the rules here for something as contentious as bullet casings. While some say they are harmless and should not be illegal, what if an individual is found to be in possession of bullet casings in his pocket after a robbery? Should he be allowed to just walk away? Camouflage clothing of every description, even pink and orange camouflage is illegal here and could land you in jail, or best case, a hefty fine for possession or impersonation of an army man or something of the sort.

With our crime situation bordering on a state of absolute madness at present, we are not in any position to relax any such laws as in Canada and other territories. And while we agree that some of our laws are archaic and in need to review, the onus is on the traveller to at least ask about the legality of moving around with something like bullet casings. Something as simple as a phone call to a friend or to any police station prior to travelling could result in a potentially more pleasant stay with bandits on the loose rather than sharing a cell with them. The choice is yours.