From 16 to 18 April 2024, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), in collaboration with the Government of Jamaica, carried out a firearms laser marking workshop in Kingston, Jamaica.

Twenty officials from key Jamaican agencies, including the Firearms Licensing Authority, Institute of Forensic Science and Legal Medicine, Jamaican Defense Force, Jamaica Constabulary Force, Jamaica Customs Agency, Ministry of National Security and Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency, participated in the workshop. They built their knowledge about the international guidelines for marking firearms and practical skills to mark firearms using laser marking machines.

The three-day workshop featured a number of lectures on topics such as the international guidelines for marking firearms as a control measure, methods of marking firearms, technical recommendations for Latin American and Caribbean states to mark firearms, Jamaican Firearms law and policy on marking firearms, and the techniques to restore and trace serial numbers on firearms. Additionally, participants engaged in hands-on exercises focused on laser marking firearms.

Adequate marking of firearms is an essential step to ensure arms control and record-keeping, as well as to facilitate the tracing and investigation of illicit firearms. As such, it is crucial for an effective response to prevent diversion and counter illicit trafficking in firearms.

This initiative aligns with Goal 4 of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap which seeks to reduce the risk of diversion of firearms and ammunition from government and non-government-owned arsenals.

The workshop was conducted within the framework of UNLIREC’s project “Preventing Diversion of Conventional Arms and Ammunition in the Caribbean”, funded by the U.S. Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.