While I agree that guns should be something controlled, I also believe that there should be a freedom for people to own guns and that it should be applicable to all citizens, not just some with a few special people able to have their way.
In Belize there is a tendency that people tied to the ruling Government of the day get to have special privileges and can be above the law just like the politicians if they are close enough or have connections to the ruling politicians.
The Firearms Act of Belize is clear as follows:
35.-(1) Subject to section 33, no person, including a gun-dealer shall own, keep, carry, use or have in his possession any firearm or ammunition, of the following description–
(a) rifle of 7.62 or higher calibre;
(b) revolver of .44 or higher calibre;
(c) magnum revolver of .357 calibre;
(d) sawed-off shotgun of any calibre;
(e) machine gun of any calibre.
Read the Firearms Act on page 2.
But yet you have people like Alfonso Noble who is prominently tied to the Ruling UDP party via its mouthpiece media houses Wave Radio and The Guardian news paper, able to move around Belize with not just a high caliber weapon but a military class firearm while drinking.
While you have the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) and Police in Belize breaking into people’s houses on mere suspicion up to and including physically harming people that they target, except of course if they are in the In Crowd that is.
Below are some examples of the atrocities Belizeans face while as noted above, Mr Noble can do as he pleases.
Section 4(2) of the Belize Constitution provides that:
A person shall not be regarded as having been deprived of his life in contravention of this section if he dies as the result of the use, to such extent and in such circumstances as are permitted by law, of such force as is reasonably justifiable:
(a) for the defence of any person from violence or for the defence of property;
(b) in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained;
(c) for the purpose of suppressing a riot, insurrection or mutiny; or
(d) in order to prevent the commission by that person of a criminal offence,
or if he dies as the result of a lawful act of war.
Basically, the above says that it’s ok for the Belize police to use a firearm against citizens including killing him/her.
Section 7 of the Constitution stipulates that:
No person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading punishment or other treatment.
So then why do normal citizenry get attacked and abused all the time?
Section 20 of the 2000 Constitution provides for recourse to the Supreme Court of Belize for redress should the rights contained in the Constitution be violated. Thus, Section 20(2) confers on the Supreme Court
the jurisdiction to hear and determine any application, and make such declarations and orders, issue such writs and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for the purpose of enforcing or securing the enforcement of any of the provisions of sections 3 to 19 inclusive of this Constitution.
Therefore, according to the constitutional provisions, if a police officer were to use force in circumstances and in a manner which was not justifiable, the victim would be entitled to seek redress through the Supreme Court.
The Belize Criminal Code states the following:
Standard Tests for Questions of Criminal Liability
5.─(1) A court or jury in determining whether a person has committed an offence which employs one of the words specified in sections 6, 7 and 8 of this Act shall use the standard tests under sections 6, 7 and 8 of this Act for which that key word is appropriate when answering any question relating to him specified in subsection (2) of this section, unless the provision creating the offence decides that the test is not to be used.
(2) The questions mentioned in subsection (1) of this section are,
(a) the question of intention;
(b) the question of knowledge;
(c) the question of recklessness as to result; and
(d) the question of recklessness as to circumstances.
“the question of recklessness as to result” means the question whether he was reckless as to whether his conduct would have any particular result; and
“the question of recklessness as to circumstances” means the question whether he was reckless as to whether any relevant circumstances existed.
The Standard Tests and the Keywords
6.─(1) The standard test of intention is,
Did the person whose conduct is in issue either intend to produce the result or have no substantial doubt that his conduct would produce it?
(2) The appropriate key words are,
(a) the verb “to intend” in any of its forms; and
(b) “intent”, “intention”, “intentional” and “intentionally”.
7.–(1) The standard test of knowledge is,
Did the person whose conduct is in issue know of the relevant circumstances or have no substantial doubt of their existence?
(2) The appropriate key words are,
(a) the verb “to know” in any of its forms;
(b) “knowledge” and “knowingly”; and
(c) any of the words mentioned in section 6 (2) of this Act,
if used so as to imply that the person whose conduct is in issue cannot intend to produce a particular result unless he knows some particular fact or facts.
8.─(1) The standard test of recklessness as to result is,
Did the person whose conduct is in issue foresee that his conduct might produce the result and, if so, was it unreasonable for him to take the risk of producing it?
(2) The standard test of recklessness as to circumstances is,
Did the person whose conduct is in issue realise that the circumstances might exist and, if so, was it unreasonable for him to take the risk of their existence?
(3) The appropriate key words are “reckless”, “recklessness” and “recklessly”.
(4) The question whether it was unreasonable for the person to take the risk is to be answered by an objective assessment of his conduct in the light of all relevant factors, but on the assumption that any judgment he may have formed of the degree of risk was correct.
(8) A person shall not, by reason of anything in this section, be relieved from any liability in respect of,
(a) an attempt to cause an event;
(b) negligent conduct, if such negligent conduct is punishable under this Code irrespectively of whether it actually causes any event.
Abetment and Conspiracy
20.─(1) Every person who,
(a) directly or indirectly instigates, commands, counsels, procures, solicits or in any manner purposely aids, facilitates, encourages or promotes the commission of any crime, whether by his act, presence or otherwise; or
(b) does any act for the purpose of aiding, facilitating, encouraging or promoting the commission of a crime by any other person, whether known or unknown, certain or uncertain, shall be guilty of abetting that crime and of abetting the other person in respect of that crime.
22. Every person who, knowing that a person designs to commit or is committing a felony, fails to use all reasonable means to prevent the commission or completion thereof, is guilty of a misdemeanour.
If you know someone is committing a crime and you do not report it, you are guilty. Mr Noble is committing a crime against the Firearms Act unless he can prove otherwise; something I’m sure they will do knowing how things work in Belize as well as the person that owns the gun (if its not Mr Noble) for letting an unlicensed person handle the weapon..
General Exemption From Criminal Liability
26. A person accused of crime shall be deemed to have been insane at the time he committed the act in respect of which he is accused,
(a) if he was prevented by reason of idiocy, imbecility or any mental derangement or disease affecting the mind, from knowing the nature or consequences of the act in respect of which he is accused;
(b) if he did the act in respect of which he is accused under the influence of a delusion of such a nature as to render him, in the opinion of the jury, an unfit subject for punishment of any kind in respect of such act.
27.─(1) Except as provided in this section, intoxication shall not constitute a defence to any criminal charge.
(2) (a) Intoxication shall be a defence to any criminal charge, if the person charged was by reason of intoxication, insane as defined in section 26, at the time he committed the act in respect of which he is accused.
(b) Where the defence under subparagraph (a) is established, the provisions of sections 127 and 128 of the Indictable Procedure Act, Cap.96, shall apply, unless the state of intoxication rendering the person insane was caused without his consent by the malicious or negligent act of another person, in which case the accused person shall be discharged with a verdict of acquittal.
(3) Intoxication shall be taken into account for the purpose of determining whether the person charged had formed any intention, specific or otherwise, in the absence of which he would not be guilty of the offence, provided the state of intoxication was caused without his consent by the malicious or negligent act of another person.
(4) Voluntary intoxication shall be taken into account for the purpose of determining whether the person charged had formed any specific intention in cases where a specific intent is an essential element in the offence charged.
(5) For the purposes of this section “intoxication” shall be deemed to include a state produced by narcotics or drugs.
And there’s no way in hell that Mr Noble can use the ignorance clause because he is well knowledge of the laws as he constantly use it against people fighting for their rights as his job for the UDP Government.
28.─(1) A person shall not be punished for an act which by reason of ignorance or mistake of fact in good faith he believes to be lawful.
(2) A person shall not, except as in this Code otherwise expressly provided, be exempt from liability to punishment for any act on the ground of ignorance that such act is prohibited by law.
No Libel or Slander here
I just want to clear this part up because I’m sure it will come up, I am not in the business of libel slander of anyone. These people know the law and abuse of their connections and they are doing so by their own choice and in so doing, they libel and slander themselves and their party.
14.─(1) In this Code “threat” means,
(a) any threat of criminal force or harm;
(b) any threat of criminal injury to property;
(c) any threat of libel or of slander; or
(d) any threat that a person shall be prosecuted on a charge of having committed any crime or offence, whether such alleged crime or offence is punishable under this Code or under any other law, and whether it has or has not been committed.
Libel: a published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation; a written defamation.
Slander: the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.
Why do they abuse?
Here is where it get’s interesting and where the police and GSU feel like they have authority to abuse of their title and role:
Justifiable Force and Harm
31. Force may be justified in the cases and manner, and subject to the conditions hereinafter in this Title mentioned, on the ground of either of the following matters, namely,
(a) express authority given by a statute;
(b) authority to execute the lawful sentence or order of a court;
(c) the authority of an officer to keep the peace, or of a court to preserve order;
(d) authority to arrest and detain for felony;
(e) authority to arrest, search or detain a person otherwise than for felony;
(f) necessity for prevention of or defence against crime;
(g) necessity for defence of property or possession, or for overcoming obstruction to the exercise of lawful rights;
(h) necessity for preserving order on board a vessel;
(i) authority to correct a child, servant or other similar person, for misconduct;
(j) the consent of the person against whom the force is used.
Limitations on the use of force:
This section defines the limitations a bit but it makes no difference for the normal Belizeans.
32. Notwithstanding the existence of any matter of justification for force, force cannot be justified as having been used in pursuance of that matter,
(a) which is in excess of the limits hereafter prescribed in the section of this Title relating to that matter; or
(b) which in any case extends beyond the amount and kind of force reasonably necessary for the purpose for which force is permitted to be used.
41. Every person who, in justifiably using force against a person, is obstructed or resisted by a third person, may in any case use such force against the third person not extending to a blow, wound or grievous harm, as is necessary for overcoming the obstruction or resistance, and may, if the obstruction or resistance amounts to a crime or to abetment of a crime, use force in accordance with the provisions of this Title with respect to the use of force in case of necessity for preventing crime.
42. Every person who is authorised to use force of a particular kind against a person may further use such additional force, not extending to a blow, wound or grievous harm, as is necessary for the execution of his authority.
43. Every person who aids another person in a justifiable use of force is justified to the same extent and under the same conditions as the other person.
Misappropriations and Frauds
As it relates to Mr Noble, the firearm is on his person and as per the clause below, it is assumed/regarded as being his property unless proven otherwise. Again, something that may very well be covered up.
144.─(1) Property shall be regarded as belonging to any person having possession or control of it, or having in it any proprietary right or interest (not being an equitable interest arising only from an agreement to transfer or grant an interest).
I’ll let you read up the rest of the laws that pertain to these things as they are too many to list in one article. I will however add the Firearms Act in the next page.