The National Commission for Small Arms and Light Weapons is demanding for legislative reviews that empowers them to control the sale and registration of guns among others.
The new Board Chairman, Rev. Dr Paul Frimpong-Manso, says the Commission has become a mere rubber stamp for gun and arms purchases.
He told Joy News’ Gifty Andoh Appiah on The Pulse programme that gun and arms purchases, a role being played by the police and the Interior Ministry, is the Commission’s responsibility.
“We should have handled it but we don’t. People normally acquire the guns before we are informed. That is one of the reasons why we think that the laws that govern this need to be changed or reviewed,” he said.
According to him, the Commission has all the top technical people to who are technically competent to advise regarding the acquisition of a gun or a weapon so they should be allowed to do that.
There are reports that about three million unregistered arms are in circulation in Ghana which is mostly in the Northern (36%), Ashanti (19%) and Central (8%) Regions.
Rev. Dr Frimpong-Manso disclosed that “most of the arms are locally manufactured and also some of them got into the country through the wrong channels”.
“Data on this is a problem but as it stands we don’t know those holding these arms and what they are using it for,” he said explaining the protocol before a company can import guns into the country.
He explained that interested companies have to register with the Ghana Police Service who will clear the company before importation can take place.
Rev Dr Frimpong-Manso said with the registered companies those interested in owning a gun are taken through some exercises to ensure that the individual is in a stable and sound mind as well as the reason for the acquisition.
The Board Chairman is worried that the neglect of the Commission has contributed to the proliferation of guns and small arms.
“My Executive Secretary will be informed that these arms and weapons have been applied for and it has been approved. So, in essence, they tell him what has been happening when it has already been done and these are some of the things we want to change,” he lamented.
Rev. Dr. Frimpong also listed the accomplishments by which his tenure should be measured with an appeal to the government to resource the Small Arms Commission if they are to deliver on their mandate.
Story by Ghana| Myjoyonline | Abubakar Ibrahim | [email protected]