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    Tuesday, August 20, 2019-11:08:07A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Anti-crime advocate opposes handgun legalization in NMI

IF ownership of handguns is allowed in the CNMI, it will only increase the crime rate, according to Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council Chairman Ramon B. Camacho, a retired police major.

As an anti-crime advocate who initiated the Neighborhood Watch Task Force, Camacho said he is “very concerned” about the expected federal court ruling that will allow residents to own and carry a handgun.

“There are lots of cases on the mainland involving students who bring handguns to school,” he added.

Ramon Camacho

The CNMI, he said, has the best gun control in the U.S. “because we don’t allow handguns.”

But because of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the administration and the Legislature have already prepared a handgun legalization measure.

Currently, gun ownership in the CNMI is limited to a .22 caliber hunting rifle and a single-action shotgun, Camacho said.

He said he understands that some statesiders now residing in the CNMI believe that their right to own a handgun is violated by current CNMI law.

“But look at the mainland and see how they’re struggling to deal with gun violence,” he added.

He said handguns are not visible from a distance and it’s hard to determine whether a person is carrying one or not.

Camacho who continues to organize the Neighborhood Watch Task Force in the villages said he will encourage the community to oppose any measure to legalize handguns.

It would be “very scary,” he added, if somebody burglarized a house and stole the owner’s handgun.

“Things will get out of hand,” he said.