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Civilian firearm holders to undergo fresh vetting

All civilian firearm holders will undergo fresh mandatory vetting before they are allowed to continue owning firearms.

The government plans to complete the vetting of the firearms holders by March 17, 2019.

Firearm holders will be required to appear before the newly reconstituted Firearm Licensing Board for vetting that will also see them have their details captured electronically.

Holders of illegal weapons and licenses have also been put on notice.

They will be required in the next 90 days to surrender the guns to police, failure to which the weapons will be forcefully taken from them. A press statement from the Interior ministry yesterday said out of the 15,000 registered firearm holders, 4,000 individuals are holding fake licenses.

Records of firearm holders will be stored electronically, moving away from the manual register that has been found to be doctored.

 A multi-agency team has been constituted to look into issues of firearm licenses.

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 The team will also look into individuals and institutions that own armored vehicles.

The team will provide guidelines on how and who is allowed to own armored vehicles and weaponry such as bulletproof vests and shooting ranges.

There have been reports of individuals holding firearms that are not authorised. 

Among weapons the public are said to be holding include automatic and semi-automatic rifles and self-loading military assault rifles.

Last month, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i disbanded the firearm licensing board and reconstituted it.

 The move came after the CS consulted with the National Security Advisory Committee.

The CS said the licensing has been marred by corruption and incompetence, leading to guns ending up in the wrong hands.

 “Anyone who does not get the new certificate will be regarded as having an illegal firearm,” he said.

Matiang’i also called for a comprehensive audit on the Kenya Police Reserve to know who owns guns. He said the ministry would come up with a new curriculum to train police reservists.

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