Arsenal of firearms and ammunition recovered from civilians
The Firearms Licensing Board on Tuesday said they have confiscated 340 firearms and 5,371 assorted ammunition and revoked 36 licenses from firearm holders with fake licences.
Speaking after inspecting operations of the Firearms Licensing Board at the DCI Academy in South C, Nairobi, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i warned those with illegally-held guns to surrender them within the next two months or face prosecution.
He warned those who will have not submitted themselves to the process before the expiry of the 90-day moratorium declared by the Government last year, will be found to be in illegal possession of firearms.
“People with firearms must appear before the board so that the agency knows who holds the licence 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.
The Cabinet Secretary also revealed that some of the recovered weapons included semiautomatic guns and large-capacity magazines designed for the military.
“Some of the firearms recovered are prohibited under the laws of Kenya and are military grade weapons that should not be in the hands of civilians,” Matiang’i said.
Matiang’i wondered how one individual appeared before the board for vetting with five pistols and 14 assault rifles including four sophisticated weapons.
According to Matiang’i some firearms have ended up in wrong hands because people had come up with a way of compromising the system and got the firearms even before they were tested or even physically appeared before the board.
The government intends to seal the corruption loopholes at the licensing board, and have a fully automated register of civilian gun owners by April.
The moratorium for people with fake licences or in possession of firearms without licences ends on March 7 and will not be extended.
The Police will thereafter launch a crackdown on those with illegal firearms after the vetting ends.
The board will also publish the schedule for the remaining regions in the country and how it will conduct the vetting.