Handgun factory proposal unpopular among Antiguans

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Residents of Antigua & Barbuda are against the proposal to set up a handgun assembly plant in the country.
A concerned citizen told OBSERVER media, “given the fact that we lack standards here, I’m a strong believer that there will be leaks, guns will end up on the streets and for that reason I say it is premature. It might not be a bad investment overall for [the country] but it is definitely a no, no, where I’m concerned.”
A food vendor also shared her concern: “I think the government should implement positive factories for the people of Antigua and not gun factory so people can die. Bad, bad, bad, gun go kill me and me pickney.”
Meanwhile, an elderly man said many young people in Antigua do not support the gun idea, they are afraid to speak up. “They fraid fi speak up” he repeated. “They fraid Gaston Browne. You nah hear how ISIS ah kill people. I don’t really think this is a good idea because the young people have guns and we have no idea how it got here.”
A secondary school student said: “I am disappointed with the Prime Minister. Antigua is a small community and over the years we have seen that there are many gun crimes and there has not been any solution to them. This is not America this is a small Caribbean country and this is bad publicity.”
A boutique owner added, “we have several guns in the streets already and we do not manufacture guns, we have situations where guns have been missing from the police and the defense force so if our main security can’t secure their guns I can only imagine what it would be like if we had a factory. This is a disaster.”
However, one young man in expressing support for the proposed gun factory, said, “along with the locals getting work and guns circulating in the country, I think it’s a good idea. More guns for the country, we need guns here”.
Meanwhile, a number of residents also shared their views about the development of other factories within the proposed special economic zone. Many of them expressed the desire for positive manufacturing entities to be established there, that would help produce more jobs for locals, particularly young people, who could be uplifted and taken off the streets.
According to a fisherman, the proposed special economic zone could bring “more revenue in the economy” while one farmer feels that the government should invest in agro processing, which, according to him, “will bring revenue in the country , lessen our imports and broaden out exports”.

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