Firearms Licensing Board directed to halt the issuance of gun dealership licenses

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Interior CS Dr. Fred Matiang'i. PHOTO/COURTESY
Interior CS Fred Matiang'i. PHOTO/COURTESY

The Kenya Firearms Licensing Board has been directed to halt the issuance of gun dealership licenses with immediate effect. Speaking to the press at Harambee House on Friday, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i said of the 33 registered gun dealers in the country, only 20 have been approved to continue operations. “It’s neither responsible nor security-wise beneficial to the country to allow every Tom, Dick and Harry to deal in guns,” he said, adding that there are sufficient security officers. He said the issuance will be put on hold until the regime is reviewed again by the National Security Advisory Committee.

The vetting of firearm owners started earlier this year, and records show that the registered firearm holders are 13,805. The ones vetted were 9,398, and 4,407 didn’t turn up for the vetting process “What that means is that there are people out there who purportedly have firearm licenses…we had a discussion with the Inspector General of police that we now move forward to mop up and look for this 4,407 people,” said the CS, ” 1,493 firearms were withdrawn and 70 of them were semi-automatic rifles. The Firearms Licensing Board also withdrew 21,732 bullets that were in the hands of wrong people.

Police Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai further revealed that from 1st August, all private firearm holders will be required to show the certificate of holder whenever they go into premises including supermarkets. Without the certificate, the firearm will be withdrawn and the case referred to the Firearms Licensing board for verification. All other firearm holders who are security officers for various agencies will also be required to confirm they are officers by showing the certificate of appointment from the agencies, be it the police, military or other.