Yesterday we reported on the Launching of the Peoples United Party’s Social Justice Agenda, which seeks equal rights and opportunities for all Belizean citizens. And while there are many uneven, even outdated laws that need amending, one such law which has been brought to the spotlight is the Gun Law where any gun related charges is an automatic prison sentence.  The media asked PUP Party Leader, Francis Fonseca to give his view on the issue and here is what he told us.

Screen_Shot_2014-01-16_at_8.55.55_PMFrancis Fonseca - PUP Party Leader

“Anyone who looks at the record would know that at the time they introduce that gun law, the People’s United Party in the National Assembly opposed that particular section of the law and in fact made some very strong statements, we made recommendations for improving that law and we remain consistent with that position we have consistently said to the government that we believe that law is being applied unfairly, we understand that there are dangerous people on the streets and we need to deal with them and we need to get out guns out of the hands of dangerous people but we do not need at the same time to use those laws to penalize those law abiding citizens who are trying to protect themselves, their families and their businesses and a lot of that is happening, a lot of innocent people are being caught up in this web that has been thrown and so we need to look at that law and other laws to make sure that they are being effective and that in fact they are not having a counterproductive effect on the innocent people of our country.”       

And while the Media bombarded Fonseca with questions that pertain to many issues currently affecting the country, we asked him to comment on the Elvin Penner, Eric Chang scenarios being that they both have their jobs intact and have not been questioned by the media. While he was subtle, he indicated that the PUP has always had an open door policy when it comes to the media.

Francis Fonseca - PUP Party Leader

“I think people can go by our history, certainly I know the dark days of the PUP in 2006, 2007 and I certainly made myself fully available to the media for every tough question, am surprised that the media has not bunk out and tank out at Mr. Penner’s  house and forced him, Mr. Chang, am surprised because I know Channel Seven and others use to chase us around everywhere they could find us, somehow Mr. Penner and Mr. Chang are being held to a different standard it appears, but obviously the media has a critical role to play in the democratic process, we respect the media, we understand the power of the media and sometimes we learn the hard way but it is always foolish to try to hide from the media and to try to hide from the truth, the reality is and those are lesson learnt from our old past and our own history and it is important to be upfront, it is important to be very, very comfortable in dealing with the media and making sure that you are available to the media.”

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