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HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

Cuban government asking citizens to register their handguns

Posted February 01, 2010 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
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WILL WEISSERT | AP

Cuba has declared a two-month amnesty for citizens to register unlicensed guns, and says those passing aptitude and psychological tests will be allowed to keep their weapons.

The move is unusual in a state where almost no one except some active military personnel and plain-clothed state security agents are allowed to possess weapons.

Even most police officers are required to leave their pistols at the station or in a regional barracks when on vacation or leave, and young men participating in mandatory military service are given unloaded firearms for most exercises.

Starting Feb. 12, Cubans will have the “exceptional and one-time only” chance to register their guns with police, and will be allowed to keep them provided they are over 18 and have passed the proper tests administered at police stations.

There was no explanation for why the drive to legalize unlicensed weapons is coming now, though the state-run news agency Prensa Latina said the move grew out of a November 2008 law regulating possession of guns and ammunition.

According to a weekend bulletin carried by state news media, gun owners must “maintain conduct consistent with the appropriate norms of social behavior, meet security and protection conditions for the firearms and pay established taxes.”

Cubans were encouraged to register any weapons they owned in the years after Fidel Castro and his band of rebels toppled dictator Fulgencio Batista on Jan. 1, 1959. But later authorities used a list of those who had sought licenses to go door-to-door and encourage them to turn over their firearms - even antiques considered family heirlooms.

While Cuba is among the safest countries in the hemisphere, it is not unusual to find firearms in Cuban homes, though most are weapons improvised from household materials or guns that were smuggled into the country and bought on the black market.

The call to register arms is for Cubans civilians, and the bulletin stated that “security and protection agents, detectives and bodyguards will be summoned by the Ministry of the Interior” for an independent licensing process.

Member Comments

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On February 01, 2010, publisher wrote:

Hmmm.

Call me cynical but this is how I read this article.

The Cuban government is saying, “tell us what guns you have then you might be able to keep them and pay taxes on them or we’ll take them away from you, our choice. If you don’t register your guns NOW and we find you with one… well you the story.”

Something like that accurate?

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On February 01, 2010, manfredz wrote:

wait til the NRA hears about that…..

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On February 01, 2010, Goldbuster wrote:

That come to an half surprise to me.

Cuba launched a civilian militia to defend the revolution and to protect the society from constant terrorist attacks from the Miami fugitives.

They believe that armed civilians are the key to protect freedoms and to defend against criminals. A lot in common with the US 2nd amendment.

With the influx of Miami Cubans and the real danger of been invade by illegal weapons in the hand of criminals, the state do exacly like they do in a lot of Gun friendly countries.  Psychological test and registration of firearms. It is the same approach Obama is taking.

Conceal carry does involve a lot more legal twist and will surely required more intensive course.

For us in Canada registering guns is forfeiting the right of privacy in our homes. All gun owners are subjected to flash unwarranted inspection of their domiciles whenever the state or the police want to check the proper storage of the guns.

Canada is slavery at is best.

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On February 01, 2010, howarde12 wrote:

The solution is quite simple.  Move to Cuba.  Do not pass Go. Pack bag and baggage and move there. Oh yes, take all of your guns with you.  The health care must certainly be better than that you have in Canada. So must the food, and transportation, and accomodations.

But remember, there will be no second Mariel Boat Lift.

Bon voyage! or Pardeon!

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On February 01, 2010, jmw1 wrote:

Seems like assembling a short list of possible followers of an imminant uprising? Perahaps Raul (should say I Fidel) is becoming paranoid?

Any way you look at it, the net result is the same: You may remove gun ownership from the citizenry, but you will never remove gun possesion from the criminals.

It will be vey interesting to learn the results of such an ‘amnesty’.

As publisher somewhat suggests, the penalties of gun possesion after the amnesty ends are grounds for illegal gun ownership; and who knows what sort of gruesome sentance that will carry?

But! wait a minute; does not the state own everything? Surely the guns which the Cuban goverment are so fearful of belong to themselves!!!

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On February 01, 2010, Goldbuster wrote:

“You may remove gun ownership from the citizenry, but you will never remove gun possession from the criminals.”

I agree completely with this statement but that nothing to do with what Cuba is trying to do.

Asking you to registered your gun is a lot different than seizing your gun. Having a gun registry is complying with UN implementation.

Blame the UN

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On February 01, 2010, publisher wrote:

Always someone else to blame.

Castro NEVER does anything wrong. Amazing loyalty you have (and I’m not saying that in a good way).

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On February 01, 2010, Goldbuster wrote:

Put some water in your wine, and I’ll put wine in my water…

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On February 01, 2010, Yeyo wrote:

This sounds pretty weird, I never remember seeing guns in Cuban homes and much less the government allowing you to have a gun.

I guess we’ll have to wait sometime to learn the true motives behind this move.

Funny somebody said that this is a UN Implementation. Why not implementing the UN chart of Human Rights? That definitely would be much more productive.

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On February 01, 2010, Goldbuster wrote:

Funny that after an armed revolution some people think that the guns just disappears…

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On February 01, 2010, pipefitter wrote:

Maybee they just want to see if people who have guns are competent or emotionaly stable enough to posess one. In Canada you have to pass a test to see if the police think you can handle one or may use it for no good on impulse. Maybee they think some guns have made it into the country ilegally.

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On February 01, 2010, John wrote:

I hereby suggest the Cuban government implement an amnesty for possession of abnormal brains. To make it easy, registration will last one year and there shall be no crime or penalty for not taking part.
What do you say Goldbuster?

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On February 01, 2010, publisher wrote:

I don’t disagree that handguns should be registered but I can’t help reading more into this story.

Handguns never had to be registered in Cuba before?

It does say the reason has to do with the “November 2008 law regulating possession of guns and ammunition.”

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On February 01, 2010, John wrote:

Let’s look at it this way; if the Cuban police can enter the home of someone suspected of dissent, confiscate a sack of cement or box of fruit and accuse the suspect of ‘hoarding’ stolen goods (no official receipt), then arrest and jail the suspect without trial, what do you think will become of the suspect when they are in possession of a gun?

Again; registration of firearms never achieves it’s objective.
Same as prohibition of alcohol; the entire ‘industry’ disappears under the radar and for the most part is contolled by those the government originally intended to remove gun ownership.

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On February 02, 2010, pipefitter wrote:

Lets look at it this way, If the American police can enter the home of someone suspected of dissent, confiscate his computer, nude pictures, marijana, seeds, hash or magic mushrooms arrest and jail him,————sound familiar?
Registration of firearms doesn’t achive anything in Canada either because for every one we register there are 2 more coming across the border from the U.S. for use by the underworld and devious people etc.

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On February 02, 2010, John wrote:

#15
Correct, but not without a search warrant and not denied a trial
Cubans only recently permitted to own a computer and cell phone.
Gee, those underworld devious people, how do we get them to register their guns? Yes! let’s call an amnesty an confiscate all firearms to leave everyone defenceless against criminals and out-of-control despots in government.

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On February 02, 2010, pipefitter wrote:

At least 3 of my relative families in Cuba have had computers for over 15 years, and no they are not govt. officials or members of the communist party. What does a search warrant do, other than make everything look legal? But back to the gun question, Maybee the Cuban Gov. is getting nervous about the close to 20,000 troops now in Haiti and they are taking inventory of existing guns so they can distribute more to the sane people who don’t have any. Anyone can buy a gun in the U.S., thats were they all come into Canada and Mexico from. There are tons of gun shops along the American Mexican border.

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On February 02, 2010, MiamiCuban wrote:

I think that with the Patriot Act a search warrant is no longer necessary.  The police can come into your home….while you’re away at work….and search your house without informing you.

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On February 02, 2010, John wrote:

#17
Yes, distribute all available guns to the sane Cuban population, perhaps they will join forces with the 20,000 US troops arriving from Haiti any moment…...

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On February 02, 2010, pipefitter wrote:

One mans sane person is another mans idiot and vica versa.

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On February 02, 2010, publisher wrote:

That’s just a purely ridiculous statement and a failed attempt to explain away lies and propaganda.

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On February 02, 2010, pipefitter wrote:

Yes I think #19’s statement was kind of rediculous too!

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On February 02, 2010, Yeyo wrote:

# 10, Goldbuster, man you should get a Cuban History book and read it.

After the “robolution” one of the clever things that did Castro was to confiscate all the guns that were on the streets. All the guns used to make the robolution were confiscated with very few exceptions.

There are no guns in Cuba except very few in the hands of criminals that I presume would not be interested in registering them and also very few guns in the hands of people in very high positions within the government or friends of Castro.

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On February 03, 2010, pipefitter wrote:

Right on Yeyo, other than military and police I can only recall one person I knew that had a pistol all the time and pretty sure he was in the secret service. Maybee this registry thing is to try to scare some of the criminals into giving up their weapons for fear that the police already know who has them.