Seymour Patrick Ramsay, 37, appeared in Summary Court on Wednesday charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm, but his attorney said there was a potential issue as to whether the item was a firearm.
Details of the charge describe the item as one black flare gun adapted to fire 12-gauge rounds. The charge includes three 12-gauge cartridges.
Crown Counsel Tricia Hutchinson said police officers received information and as a result went to the area of Welly’s Cool Spot on Sound Road, George Town, in the early hours of 7 July.
They saw Ramsay and two other men, all of whom entered a vehicle and drove off. That information was passed on to another police unit, which stopped the car shortly afterwards. All three men exited the vehicle and ran from the scene. Ramsay was seen clutching his waist as he ran. Police called for him to stop but he continued and was seen pulling what appeared to be a gun from his waist. He then jumped over a wall and fell soon after, at which point he surrendered.
Ms Hutchinson said officers searched Ramsay, but found no gun. In searching the area, however, they did find three cartridges and what appeared to be a handgun.
The item has not yet been certified as a firearm by an expert, Ms Hutchinson advised the court, but said it had been fired by a trained officer.
In objecting to bail, she pointed to the allegations that Ramsay had a firearm on his person in a public place and had made a serious effort to elude police.
Defence Attorney Lucy Organ emphasised that only one officer said he had seen Ramsay with a firearm. She pointed out that when another officer tried to fire it with the ammunition found, he was not successful. Using additional bullets from the police store, it took a total of six attempts before it fired once, she pointed out.
As part of her bail application, she also urged the court not to be concerned about interference with witnesses, since all witnesses were police officers. She cited Ramsay’s work and family as reasons he could be given bail with a curfew.
Chief Magistrate Nova Hall began her decision by noting it was trite to say that charges involving firearms are serious. The court has a concern about this type of charge because of the escalation of offences involving firearms in this jurisdiction, she said.
She accepted that Ramsay had no previous convictions for related offences, but noted he did have a record. She said the risk of further offending was a real one and denied bail.
She remanded him in custody for mention of the matter again on Tuesday, 24 July.