MOMBASA, Kenya, Jan 21 – All private firearm holders in the country must be registered afresh by March 18, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi said on Monday.
He said the Firearm Licensing and Control Board has developed a new microchip card, which will have all the details of a firearm holder.
The Interior CS said every civilian who owns a gun must produce the card on demand when asked to do so by the police starting March 19.
“Everyone who holds a firearm in Kenya must be registered afresh by March 18. They will be issued with a card that has a microchip that has all the details of the gun owner. When for example, the police commander in the region requires you to produce this card because you own a firearm, you must do so,” said Matiangi.
He was speaking during the 2019 first quarter conference of the regional commissioners, regional commanders, county commissioners, county commanders at the Flamingo Hotel Mombasa.
On December 5 last year, Matiangi had issued a directive that all civilian gun owners must appear before the Firearm and Licensing Board for fresh vetting before they are issued with this new card.
However, a section of gun holders under the National Gun Owners Association (NGOA, moved to court to stop the mandatory vetting of the civilian firearm holders.
A court sitting in Nairobi temporarily suspended the exercise.
However on Monday, Matiangi said he was aware of the court order to stop the mandatory vetting of the civilian gun holders, but said they will not suspend the exercise.
“I’m aware that a certain group of people called the National Gun Owners Association had gone to court. However, the others who are not members of NGOA have no problem registering afresh. When it comes to March 19, the IG (Inspector General) and I would decide what we will do, but you must have this new card,” he said.
“We are not going back on this arrangement, every civilian who owns a firearm must be registered afresh. I do not have a time and I do not want to be seen as if I’m whining over this,” he added.
At the same time, the CS said they have started the national human resource information registration of the police officers in the country.
“In Kilifi it is done and we are moving on to the second and third counties. We have agreed with the Inspector General, we can open up for more weeks so that we can finish by the end of February,” he said.
He said initially they had planned to finish by the end of January, but due to practical and logistical challenges like what happened last week at 14 Riverside Drive.
He said also the Kenya Police Reservists and National Police Reservists must be registered alongside the police officers in their regions.
“I insist, because we want orderly records for everyone, KPR and NPR must be registered too. Everyone who is holding a gun that was given by us must be registered,” he said.
He directed police commanders in the regions and in the counties to make sure the KPR and NPR officers are also registered with other officers.
“We want to have a census because I want to know who holds a gun officially. We must have that record because we have to be accountable,” said the CS.