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Kenya

Govt issues 90-day moratorium for vetting of civilians firearms holders

In a statement by the Interior Ministry, the move is meant to mop up what they term as a long history of irregularities in the certification of firearms ownership and use by private citizens/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 5- The Government has issued a 90-day moratorium for all civilian gun owners during when a rigorous verification exercise for their firearm certificates will be undertaken beginning December 17.

During the period, anyone in illegal possession of a firearm has been directed to surrender it to the Government failure to which they will face the law.

In a statement by the Interior Ministry, the move is meant to mop up a long history of irregularities in the certification of firearms ownership and use by private citizens.

“Some lapses in the licensure of firearms dealers, civilian holders, and shooting range owners have led to the illegal possession, transfer, misuse, and trafficking of such weapons thereby posing major threats to national and regional security,” reads the statement.

“It goes without saying that this dangerous trend has fueled various acts of terrorism and crime such as robbery with violence, carjacking, poaching, and cattle rustling among others.”

Civilians in possession of any prohibited firearm have also been directed to surrender to the Government which ranges from automatic or semi-automatic self-loading military assault rifles such as a G3, AK-47, M16 rifle, Uzi, CZ scorpion, Sterling-Patchett, Evo 3 and MP5 among others.

“If in doubt about a specific weapon, the holder should seek advice from the nearest police station before the expiry of the respite period,” the Ministry advised.

“All preferential certifications and special considerations that might have been accorded earlier for specific civilian firearms holders under whichever circumstances are hereby abrogated with an immediate effect.

This comes after CS Interior Fred Matiangi appointed a new firearm board which will oversee the exercise.

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Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet will also oversee a fresh vetting of all police reservists with a view of creating a new database to ensure it is not infiltrated by criminals.

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