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Matiang’i gun holders vetting order put on hold




Interior CS Fred Matiang’i. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The planned enforcement of rigorous verification of all firearm certificates in private hands was Monday temporarily stopped by the court.

High Court Judge John Mativo granted the orders in an application filed by a civilian gun owners’ association, The National Gun Owners Association (NGOA).

“The orders will act as a stay of the decision and orders of the Interior Cabinet Secretary pending hearing and determination of the application,” Justice Mativo said.

On December 5, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i directed that all civilian firearm holders to appear in person before the Firearms Licensing Board (FLB) with their weapons for mandatory vetting.

He gave firearm holders up to December 17 to present themselves for fresh vetting under revamped FLB — which is expected to establish a single centralised electronic register. This came amid revelations of illegal issuance of gun certificates.

The gun owners lobby is uncomfortable with the composition of the new board, saying it lacks representation from a private members group of lawfully registered firearm owners.

“Section 3(2)(c) of the Firearms Act requires that the Board must include one representative from a private members group of lawfully-registered gun owners and as there is no such representative appointed, the Board as currently constituted is unconstitutional,” said NGAO in court papers.

The application was filed by Anthony Wahome, Alex Migwi, Mario Magonga, Eric Wachira, Manu Fresco, Martin Mbutura, Rohit Mediratta and Dafton Mwitiki. They also want the court to revoke suspension of the licence for their outdoor shooting range. Dr Matiang’i had said the directive was intended to streamline gun ownership which had been infiltrated by illegal gun owners.