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The Guyana Defence Force refutes the statement attributed to Attorney at Law, Patrice Henry and published in various sections of the local media, in their coverage of the occurrence of a soldier who has been charged and is before the courts for being in unlawful possession of one of the GDF’s weapons. Mr. Henry’s assertion in defence of his client Lance Corporal Devon Harris that it is the culture of the arms store to allow him to carry guns is entirely without merit.

Guyana Defence Force Security Standing Orders, set out very clearly, the procedures to be followed by its Armstores personnel with regard to the issuance of the Force’s weapons. These Orders expressly permit GDF Officers and Ranks to be in possession of its weapons only in the execution of their military duty. As an arm store personnel, Lance Corporal Devon Harris could not have issued to himself, any weapon from the Force’s Armstore, since this would be in direct contravention of the Security Standing Orders; nor was he permitted to have a weapon in his possession when not on military duty. It is instructive to note that an authority to issue document has to be signed by the Commanding Officer, for a weapon to be issued to any rank.

The Force categorically states that there has never been nor currently is a “culture” within its administration and operations that facilitates, encourages or allows for, any of its members to be in unlawful possession of the Force’s weapons or ammunition