Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i on Tuesday said the government has confiscated 340 firearms in the ongoing vetting of civilian firearm holders.
Speaking on Tuesday after inspecting operations of the Firearms Licensing Board at the DCI Academy in South C, Nairobi, Dr. Matiang’i said the government had also seized 5,371 assorted ammunition and consequently revoked 36 licenses improperly issued to civilian firearms holders under the past gun licensing regimes.
The CS said since December 15, 2018, when the exercise began, 3,600 gun owners had been vetted, with “conspicuous improprieties” being unearthed in the acquisition and certification of firearms for private use.
He warned that the March 7th deadline for vetting civilian gun owners will not be extended, adding that all those who will not have secured new licenses will be considered criminals.
The exercise will, however, continue in other regions for 11 more days until March 18, 2019.
“We will not extend the deadline – not even by one hour,” Dr. Matiang’i stated.
“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.”
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 (DCI).
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.
The CS, who was accompanied by Principal Secretary, Dr. Karanja Kibicho, reiterated that confiscated weapons including semiautomatic guns and large-capacity magazines designed for the military are prohibited for civilians.
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.
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