Tag Archives: Barbados Gun Laws

American visitor: Barbados gun licensing shows a class-based system with the police favouring elites

barbados-shooting-football

An American who loves Barbados left this thoughtful comment on our September 8, 2011 post No jail sentence necessary for Johan Bjerkhamn, but larger issues ignored

by Patriot from Idaho

“No Police Commissioner has the right to act as a tinpot dictator and not tell the nation what the nation needs to know in order to form an intelligent and thoughtful set of solutions to commonly held problems.”

I have read many of the comments here, and I am aghast at the many misinterpretations of common law terminology. I am also, as a Life Member of the NRA here in the USA aghast at the apparent lack of openness and complete honesty of the Bajan Police. I am shocked and actually angered on the behalf of the entire Bajan nation that this situation of a lack of complete honesty about such an important body of law has not been corrected.

I have been visiting your beautiful and precious nation for over 20 years now and I have observed with relish the wonderful dialogue that comes with every election. A more literate and thoughtful populace anywhere cannot be found. And I respect the Bajan Nation for this in a way that I do not respect my own, sadly enough. I am very protective of the rights we Americans enjoy, and the differences between us and other nations. Continue reading

34 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Human Rights, Police

BFP’s Opinion: No jail sentence necessary for Johan Bjerkhamn, but larger issues ignored

UPDATED December 21, 2011: Bjerkanm sentenced to 240 hours community service

(pinned to top – scroll down for newer stories)

As expected, Johan Bjerkhamn will not go to jail over the accidental shooting death of his son. Instead he will do 240 hours of Community Service. That’s fine with BFP, but as we point out in this post, citizens have no answers on the important questions raised by this shooting.

Same old, same old ’bout hey.

Our original story first published Sept 8, 2011…

Bjerkhamn to be sentenced December 21, 2011

The Nation is reporting that Johan Bjerkhamn will probably receive “community service” as his penalty for accidentally shooting and killing his 11 year old son Luke.

No court can impose any penalty that is greater than what he is already under. The larger questions remain unanswered, as we said in the below post originally published on September 8, 2011…

No sentence can exceed the father’s burden

The manslaughter charge against Johan Bjerkhamn was withdrawn last Tuesday by Director of Public Prosecutions Charles Leacock. Bjerkhamn now only faces a charge that he “willfully exposed” his 11 year old son, Luke, “in a manner likely to cause injury to his health.” (Nation article here)

There was supposed to be a continuation of the court hearing today (Thursday September 8th) but I haven’t heard any results. The hearing and sentencing may be over as I write this post.

By all accounts Johan Bjerkhamn accidentally shot his son to death as he was handling a Glock pistol with the boy present. Bjerkhamn violated the first rule of gun handling and pointed the pistol at another human being that he did not intend to shoot. Whether the gun is empty or loaded that is the rule and it’s a good rule for tragically obvious reasons.

The pistol went off and the bullet passed through Mr. Bjerhamn’s hand before striking Luke in the chest.

The published sections of his statement to the police are heart-wrenching. Any father, any mother, can only imagine the horror upon realizing that they killed their son through their own carelessness.

As we commented in a previous post

“Mr. Bjerkhamn should probably be banned for life from owning weapons, but other than that we can’t see anything to be done. No penalty can be worse than the burden he already carries.”

We agree with the DPP’s decision to drop the manslaughter charge, and we are pleased that this is being done in a public court and reported in the local news media. As recently as July 7, 2011, BFP criticized the authorities for failing to be transparent with the public about the Bjerkhamn case. We hope this newly-found will to keep the public informed continues.

Firearm dealer licenses primarily handed out to elites

There is an outstanding issue revealed by Luke’s death that is being ignored. It was rumoured that Johan Bjerkhamn had a firearms dealer license but was not a genuine dealer. Bajans believe that Firearms dealer licenses are primarily handed out to the upper class and political elites as a matter of convenience to allow people to get around the law restricting the number of firearms that one person can own. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police