JC Tenorio Enterprises, one of the only companies on island with a business license to sell firearms, “will not in any good faith” engage in sale of handguns, Bo Tenorio Palacios of Joeten said last week.
Palacios was speaking during the public comment period of a House session last Thursday.
Palacios said, speaking on behalf of himself and Joeten, said he respects but wholeheartedly disagrees with the views of those who have wanted to have handguns legalized in the NMI.
The U.S. District Court for the NMI struck down the ban on hand guns, among other provisions, from the CNMI’s gun law last week.
Palacios on Thursday said that in the 30 plus years the NMI has been a member of the US political family, it has distinguished itself from the rest of the U.S., with guns laws that reflected the will of the people and “not that of politicians from Washington.”
These laws “gave us an incredible sense of autonomy and helped to shield us from the often callous hand of those same politicians,” Palacios said.
“In the past decade, we have seen a slow but impactful erosion of this autonomy. As a limited Republican, I want to protect our rights as a commonwealth to determine what we deem the best way to serve and protect our people.”
If the NMI cannot prohibit the sale of importation of guns, Palacios said, it must ensure that every measure is taken to protect the people so that these weapons to do not fall into the hands of the community’s most violent officers, ensure that the community know how to sue and safely store these weapons and keep them away from children, and strengthen background checks and permitting requirements for gun owners and gun sellers.
“And after all these regulations are put into place, we must then commit our necessary resources to enforce the law,” Palacios said.
Palacios said they encourage the Legislature and the governor to exercise extreme prejudice in favor of public safety.