Chief Executive Officer of the African Centre for Security Studies, Paul Boateng, has said the government should establish a gun factory in its One-District-One-Factory initiative to curb the incessant proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the country.
Mr Boateng says this will help the government to regulate and control the circulation of gun and subsequently reduce the illegal importation into the country.
His comments come on the back of rampant possession of arms in recent times by citizens, following the killing of two policemen at Budumburam, near Kasoa in the Central region, aside four people who were also arrested for transporting 59-AK47 riffles to Walewale in the North East region.
Speaking on Adom FM’s current affairs show, Burning Issues on Monday, September 2, 2019, Mr Boateng indicated that the factory establishment will further “create employment and provide foreign exchange when some are exported to neighbouring countries.”
He further told host, Akua Boakyewaa Yiadom that though “politicians do not have the political will to fight the menace, producing gun locally and regularising it is the surest way to stop the proliferating and smuggling since almost every gun could be traced to the manufacturer and owner.”
Head of Conflict Management Programme of the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, John Mark Pokoo, said 1.2 million guns were in circulation per a research they conducted in 2016, excluding licensed ones making government oblivious of those in possession of such unregistered arms. He also blamed some politicians as the cause.
”Some politicians purchase guns for their boys to follow them during elections and fail to collect them afterwards,” he asserted.
Mr Pokoo also said “though there are enough laws to check firearm circulation in the country, enforcement has been the problem.”
Speaking on the same show, General Secretary of the Blacksmiths Association of Ghana, Philip Kwasi Nsiah said they have embarked on education of their members to desist from the production of illegal arms and called for government’s assistance to effectively carry out their education across the country.
He, however, debunked the assertion that many of the arms and light weapons used to commit crime in the country are locally manufactured.
The association, according to Mr Nsiah, supports the idea of building the capacity of local producers to regulate activities of illegal circulation of firearms and light weapons.