The Power Relation Between the Licit and Illicit Gun Markets of T&T

No illicit market can survive, grow and sustainably generate wealth without organic links to the licit/legal market. With the gun market of T&T there is a direct organic relationship between the expansion of the size of the licit gun market and the supply of goods and services from this legal market to the illicit gun market. All gun markets need a sustainable supply of goods and services especially the services of trained specialist personnel. There must be a supply of guns, ammunition, gunsmiths and trainers, All licit and illicit guns have to be serviced, maintained and repaired, there must be a supply of spare parts and persons with the requisite training and experience must be available to maintain the stock of guns in use. The viability of an illicit gun market demands that the sustainable supply of these inputs which outstrip the demand for guns and shots must be sustainably in place. In an illicit gun market there is then a constant search to recruit skilled technicians to satisfy these core needs which leads them logically to the licit gun market of the national security apparatus and the private sector gun market. In a gun market as T&T where there is no right to bear arms the expansion of FULs issued to the public expands the private sector gun market affording opportunities to the illicit gun market to become part of the licit gun market towards acquiring the goods and services demanded by this illicit market. This is an illicit drug market dream come true in a state where there is no right to bear arms where they engage gunsmiths and trainers marrying this expertise to illicit gun and ammunition flows. A flood of FULs cannot protect the citizenry nor those who have been granted guns for the expanding licit market strengthens the illicit gun market in an arms race that the private sector gun market always loses. The expansion of the granting of FULs is then the arming of an unarmed or in their estimate a too lightly armed oligarchy whilst the have nots are compressed between the nexus of the licit/illicit gun markets. The days of the shortage of reputable gun smiths serving Gangland in T&T is now history when there was a scramble to sigh up for correspondence courses in gunsmithing to the extent where the government banned such courses is long gone. Now there are smiths of repute and spare parts to burn. The explosion of the private sector gun market has impacted the illicit gun market in another telling way through the volume of spent cartridges available which has spawned reloading operations producing shots for the illicit gun market in the entire Caribbean island chain. The kits are brought in sourced in US and its Caribbean dependencies with the reloading presses, and the supply of spent cartridges especially from private sector and national security apparatuses are diverted to the illicit market to reload shots then sold on the illicit market in T&T. To police this reality the continued focus on colonial social control rather than the dismantling of organised crime groups will never present a viable threat to the illicit gun market whose best friend is the politicisation of crime by the politics of race hate. There is no political will to deal with reality on the ground only with make believe delusional reality. Down the rabbit hole.

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