More Civilians Apply for Fire Arms

1591 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Wilfred Okello Makmot, the Coordinator, Uganda National Focal Point on Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Internal Affairs Ministry, says about 1000 people apply for private firearms annually compared to less than 500 people in the past.

 The demand for private firearms by civilians in the country has doubled, the Internal Affairs Ministry has revealed.

Wilfred Okello Makmot, the Coordinator, Uganda National Focal Point on Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Internal Affairs Ministry, says about 1000 people apply for private firearms annually compared to less than 500 people in the past.
 
 
He says although many people apply, less than 100 people secure licenses. According to Okello, those applying for the firearms mostly include businessmen, high ranking individuals, youths and politicians.
 
 
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Okello says many applicants are found ineligible and dropped when an assessment is conducted in the level of the threats on their lives. According to Okello, they can only issue licenses to civilians seeking to hold private firearms, once their lives are in total danger.
 

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He says most of the civilians license hand guns and extreme case short guns. According to the Uganda National Policy on firearms, an applicant can only be in possession of a maximum of three firearms, one for hunting, one for self-defense and another for sporting activities.
 

Recently, Government registered 274 private firearms in an operation in an attempt to crack down on gun attacks in the country following a spate of armed attacks on Muslim clerics and violent clashes in Rwenzori region.
 

Fred Maro, who operates a sports betting shop in Kampala, says he started considering applying for a gun after losing Shillings 7 million to robbers recently. He however, says he is not sure about the process for acquiring one.
 

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.