a report by the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearm (ATF) has revealed.
The finding is based on traces the ATF conducted on 518 illegal firearms that the Jamaican police seized in 2016 and turned over to their American counterparts.
According to the report, 364 of those weapons were either manufactured (238) in the US or legally imported (126) from there. The ATF could not determine the source country for the remaining 154 firearms.
A breakdown of the firearms sourced in the US showed that 139 were traced to a retail purchaser. “[This] refers to those traces in which ATF could determine the first retail purchaser, that is, a sale executed on an ATF Firearms Transaction Record from a US Federal firearms licensee to a purchaser in the US,” the agency explained.
The ATF was unable to determine the purchasers of 157 firearms, while 68 were traced to a foreign country. “[This] refers to those firearms that were determined by ATF to be transferred from a US Federal firearms licensee to a foreign government, law enforcement, dealer, or entity,” ATF explained in the report posted on its website.
A total of 1,350 persons were reported killed across the island in 2016, and police statistics indicate that more than 70 per cent of those murders involved the use of a firearm.
In 2016, the ATF conducted traces on 991 illegal guns that were seized in Jamaica over the two previous years and found that 567, or just under 60 per cent, were sourced in the US.
Jamaica’s national security minister at the time, Robert Montague, revealed that an audit of the nation’s border control apparatus had exposed “a number of challenges”.
However, Montague indicated that a number of interim measures had been put in place to make him “comfortable”.