Hon Fraser made the comments during the debate on the Explosives (Amendment) Act, 2021, at the Ninth Sitting of the Third Session of the Fourth House of Assembly at Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff's Bottom, Tortola on May 13, 2021.
“It is unacceptable the level of crime in this territory, especially gun crime, and I’m not hearing enough outrage regarding the topic,” he said.
Addressing the House of Assembly, he said someone told to him that local gun crime is ‘simply the street cleaning itself up.’
“With that, I cannot subscribe to, not only from a human standpoint but from the standpoint of a legislator,” he said while calling for more amendments to address crime in the territory; however, he said the Explosives (Amendment) Act, 2021, is not enough to address crime.
Meanwhile, Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr The Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) pledged his full support for the amendment and reiterated calls for the HoA to be united on the response to crime.
“We cannot be separated in this house and we cannot be separated outside of this house and we cannot afford to allow the issue of crime to become a political football, we have to be united on it, as we have been united on things like financial services,” Dr Wheatley said.
Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities, Hon Kye M. Rymer (R5) introduced the Bill’s objects and reasons, saying “The purpose of the Bill is to amend section two (2) of the principal Act by widening the definition of explosives so that it includes explosive materials which may be used in a firearm as ammunition including articles consisting of a cartridge case, blank cartridges, or training cartridges.”
He said, given what has been occurring in this territory, as it relates to gun crime, “this government we have bemoaned the fact that gun crimes have no place in our community and, Mr Speaker, we would work to try to get that out of this community. Because gun crime is like fungus that eats away at the very fabric of us as human beings.”
The Explosives (Amendment) Act, 2021, was debated and passed without amendments.