2022 – Bahamas says US should do more to control arms smuggling By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Officer Onassis Ferguson, commander of the Bahamas Defense Forces, exits Coral Harbor base while on patrol in Coral Harbor, Bahamas April 20, 2022. REUTERS/Address Latif/File Photo

by Jasper Ward

NASSAU (Reuters) – The United States must do more to control the flow of illegal weapons into the Bahamas, the country’s prime minister said on Monday, amid growing concerns about gun violence and killings in the Caribbean nation.

According to official figures, more than 90 percent of the weapons seized in the Bahamas and used as murder weapons can be traced back to American manufacturers and arms dealers.

“We’re telling Americans they need more,” Prime Minister Philip Davis told reporters on the sidelines of a police conference.

“While we don’t want to interfere with their internal right to bear case, we are concerned that gun buyers are not buying them just to carry them, but to export and sell them.”

Davis said he has spoken to senior US officials about the case and they are open to his concerns. He refused to identify the officers.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Police say 22 people died in the Bahamas in March in what could be one of the highest monthly numbers on record, apparently due to gang riots and drug disputes.

Police have seized 172 weapons so far this year.

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