Local January 11, 2012 | 6:56 am

Deputies approve stricter controls over guns

Santo Domingo.- The Chamber of Deputies yesterday approved the bill which would stiffen controls and regulations on guns, ammunition and explosives, aimed at drastically hardening the penalties for the use, possession and sale of illegal weapons.

The initiative with substantial changes to Law 36 on firearms bearing and possession was favored by the vote of 126 lawmakers, though a final vote was scheduled for Thursday morning, to hear and consider some observations raised by several deputies in the Chamber.

The legislation proposed by pro-government PRSC party deputy Victor (Ito) Bisono had been making the rounds for several years in the lower Chamber.

In passed into Law, it would criminalize the traffic of guns, including their alteration and modification. It would also create a government agency assigned to the Interior and Police Ministry, but would coordinate its operation with the Armed Forces.

“The law’s primary target is to prevent and reduce the violence with firearms. We are sure that through a norm we can help discourage the use of weapons in actions that violate the law,” said the deputy Elpidio Báez, who motivated the bill.

He said the current system’s main problem is the inadequate control to register all guns, which in his view is an obstacle for the authorities to investigate and prosecute crimes.

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