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Govt issues 90-day moratorium for vetting of all civilian gun holders



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The government has announced that a 90-day rigorous verification of all firearm certificates in Kenya will begin on December 17.

The exercise will be carried out by the Firearms Licensing Board (FLB), which all also “establish, maintain and monitor a centralised electronic register of all private citizens holding firearms”.

In a statement on December 5, the Interior ministry, headed by Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, noted irregularities in the oversight of gun ownership and use by private citizens.

It cited lapses in the licensing of civilians, dealers and shooting range owners, that in turn leads to illegal possession, misuse, transfer and trafficking of these weapons.

“It goes without saying that this dangerous trend has fuelled various acts of terrorism and crimes as robberies with violence, carjacking, poaching and cattle rustling,” the ministry said.

During the moratorium, all civilian firearm holders will be required to appear before the FLB in person for a check of their suitability to have the weapons.

They are required to present the weapons and certificates for review.

“Upon qualification, they will be issued with new smart licences,” the statement stated.

People owning firearms illegally were asked to surrender them before the moratorium ends on March 17, failure of which they will be punished in line with the law.

Prohibited firearms range from automatic/semi-automatic self-loading military assault rifles to guns that fall outside the functioning cycle described in the Firearms Act.

They include G3, AK-47, M16 rifle, Uzi, Sterling-Patchett MK5, CZ Scorpion Evo 3, and MP5 among others.