CNMI authorities regret gun liberalisation

1:29 pm on 4 April 2016

Authorities say a Northern Marianas court ruling which threw out gun restrictions could have a significant impact on security in the CNMI.

Last month, the District Court threw out the 30-year old Weapons Control Act, a measure that had stopped residents obtaining handguns, and ruled the law was unconstitutional.

The Governor Ralph Torres has told local media the legalising of handguns changes the whole CNMI and the way the Commonwealth enjoys freedom and the luxury of not having handguns.

Gun on table.

CNMI gun restrictions thrown out by court Photo: RNZI

He has also signalled it will require more public safety funding.

The Commonwealth Ports Authority executive director, MaryAnn Lizama, agrees, saying the ruling has changed the dynamics of security in the CNMI.

"What we do here is protect the travelling public and the airports and sea port community. It's a game changer for my law enforcement officers. This whole right to bear arms with the handguns, now we have to beef up security."

"Not only do we have to stand up security posture, we have to tighten security measures," she said.

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