Kenyans Urged to Take Advantage of Amnesty to Surrender Illegal Arms

Illegal firearms (file photo).
21 September 2019

Nairobi — The government has urged Kenyans to take advantage of Amnesty month to return illegal guns.

Kenya National Focal Point On Small Arms and Light Weapons(KNFP) Director Mohamed Amin, said a survey conducted by Africa Amnesty indicated that in Kenya, over 600,000 firearms are in the hands of civilians.

"A recent survey shows that we have roughly 550,000 to 650,000 illegal firearms in the hands of ordinary citizens. As you are aware recently there was a review of civilian licensing. The government has already put measures of collecting those illegal guns from Kenyans," Amin told journalists at a briefing.

Amin assured those who will return the guns before September 30 of their protection and urged them not to be scared of any prosecution.

Those in possession of illicit firearms should return them to the nearest police station, to religious leaders or community leaders.

"I want to assure those who will return those guns during the amnesty period, they will not be arrested by anyone. They can take them to their nearest police station without fear of intimidation or prosecution as this period means that they are protected," Amin added.

Aligning with the International Day of Peace, Amin said the government will hold a public destruction of all the surrendered and confiscated firearms by the end of the year.

He pointed out that the world will experience lasting peace if illegal firearms are taken away from those who hold them and disarm the mind hearts of the people and provide social-economic security.

Currently, the government has over 8,000 firearms seized from civilians.

The call by the government to allow citizens to return illegal guns in the month of September without any punishment is in line with the decision of the African Union Heads of State Summit endorsing the observance of September as the Africa Amnesty Month for the surrender and collection of illegally owned weapons/arms.

In February this year, the government vetted gun owners in a one-week exercise to ensure they had certificates of ownership.

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