Matiangi says firearms vetting won’t be extended

February 27, 2019 (4 weeks ago) 10:07 am
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He stated that so far, the government has confiscated 340 firearms and 5,371 assorted ammunition and revoked 36 licenses improperly issued to civilian firearms holders/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 27 – Interior Cabinet secretary Fred Matiangi says the firearms vetting process in Nairobi will not be extended after the 90-day moratorium declared by the government expires on March 7.

Speaking after inspecting operations of the Firearms Licensing Board at the DCI Academy in South C, Nairobi, Matiangi stated that stern action will be taken against those who will not have submitted themselves to the process by then.

“We will not extend the deadline. After the conclusion of the exercise, firearms or ammunition held without certification under the new regime will be deemed to have been acquired illegally,” he said.

He stated that so far, the government has confiscated 340 firearms and 5,371 assorted ammunition and revoked 36 licenses improperly issued to civilian firearms holders.

He pointed out that the exercise will however continue in other regions for 11 more days until March 18.

The Firearms Licensing Board arrived at this decision after thorough vetting of 3,600-gun owners since the beginning of the exercise on December 15, 2018, where conspicuous improprieties were unearthed in the acquisition and certification of firearms for private use.

The Cabinet Secretary also revealed that some of the confiscated weapons are prohibited under the laws of Kenya, and they include semiautomatic guns and large-capacity magazines designed for the military.

He announced that the Inspector General of Police will lead a countrywide operation thereafter with a view to mopping up such weapons in the best interest of the country.

“Firearms owners must appear in person before the Board and avail their weapons and certificates for review without fail. After the deadline, we will act lawfully, but firmly,” he stated.

The vetting process involves psychiatric assessment by a government psychologist, criminal record checks, and ballistic testing of the weapons and ammunition by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

The Board is issuing vetted gun owners with new smart licenses and concurrently working towards establishing a centralized electronic register of all private citizens holding firearms in the country.

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