A busi­ness­man from Mar­aval has been giv­en the green light to pur­sue a law­suit over a move by the T&T Po­lice Ser­vice (TTPS) to seize all three of his li­censed firearms, af­ter one was stolen by a rel­a­tive who used it to com­mit sui­cide.

On Thurs­day, High Court Judge Devin­dra Ram­per­sad grant­ed the man, whose name was with­held based on se­cu­ri­ty con­cerns due to the na­ture of his case, leave to pur­sue his ju­di­cial re­view against the Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice.

Ac­cord­ing to his court fil­ings, ob­tained by Guardian Me­dia, the man, who owns a con­tract­ing com­pa­ny, was first grant­ed a Firearms User’s Li­cense (FUL) for a se­mi-au­to­mat­ic pis­tol in 2001.

His FUL was sub­se­quent­ly var­ied to al­low him to pos­sess an­oth­er pis­tol and a 12-gauge shot­gun.

On Au­gust 30 last year, the man took one of his firearms with him when he and his fam­i­ly went to spend time at their va­ca­tion home Down the Is­lands.

The man re­port­ed­ly se­cured the pis­tol in a locked safe box but one of his rel­a­tives man­aged to break in­to it and use the gun to com­mit sui­cide.

The gun was seized by in­ves­ti­ga­tors from the Care­nage Po­lice Sta­tion, as part of their probe in­to the sui­cide. In­ves­ti­ga­tors al­so took pos­ses­sion of his FUL, as they claimed that they need­ed to ver­i­fy that the gun was cov­ered un­der it.

Al­though they promised to re­turn the FUL with­in one week, it was not.

The of­fi­cers al­so seized the man’s oth­er li­censed firearms and am­mu­ni­tion that were stored at his home, as they claimed he could not re­main in pos­ses­sion of them while they still had his FUL.

Af­ter the FUL and the firearms not used in the sui­cide were not re­turned, the man’s lawyers sent le­gal cor­re­spon­dence over the de­lay.

The TTPS’ Le­gal Unit in­di­cat­ed that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was still on­go­ing and that the firearms and FUL could not be re­turned un­til it is com­plet­ed.

In his court fil­ings, the man’s lawyers claimed that the de­lay was ex­ces­sive and dis­pro­por­tion­ate, as the ver­i­fi­ca­tion of his FUL and firearms should not take over a year.

“The Re­spon­dent could have kept a copy or ought to have a copy of the said li­cense on file. There­fore, the con­tin­ued seizure of the said Li­cense is with­out just cause and un­war­rant­ed,” at­tor­ney Sav­it­ri Sama­roo said.

Sama­roo al­so claimed that the fail­ure of po­lice of­fi­cers to in­form the man of the length of time the firearms and FUL would be seized was un­rea­son­able and un­jus­ti­fi­able.

Through the law­suit, the man is seek­ing de­c­la­ra­tions that the con­tin­ued de­ten­tion of the FUL and firearms is an ir­reg­u­lar and im­prop­er ex­er­cise of dis­cre­tion and an abuse of pow­er.

He is al­so seek­ing an or­der quash­ing the de­ci­sion and an­oth­er com­pelling the re­lease of the items.

The case is sched­uled to come up for case man­age­ment on No­vem­ber 17.

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