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The Center for Defence and Security (CDS) is calling on Government to introduce a comprehensive regulatory control system for the movement of firearms in the country.
According to the CDS, the move will help sanitize the system of all the potential dangers involved with the improper handling of small arms as well to promote effective monitoring of arms movement and ownership in the country.
The Center for Defence and Security in a statement signed by the Executive Director, Yaro Kasambata also wants Government to review existing laws on small arms and ammunition in Ghana to reflect international conventions and treaties.
“Government should introduce a comprehensive regulatory regime for small arms import, storage, distribution, retail of firearms and civilian gun ownership. This regulatory regime should include provisions such as a regulator to ensure licensing for small arms imports, licensing criteria, licensing for distribution and retail of small arms and ammunition in Ghana.”
Among other things, the Center for Defence and Security is advocating for the review of the mandate of the Ghana National Commission on small arms from its current status as an advisory body to a regulatory body.
“Guns should move strictly from a licensed importer to licensed distributor or retailer to a competent and licensed owner under the strict oversight of the regulator. Furthermore, review the mandate of the Ghana National Commission on Small Arms from its current status as an advisory body to a regulator with mandate to oversee activities in the supply chain of the small arms and ammunition industry.”
“Government should also review existing laws on small arms and ammunition in Ghana to reflect international conventions and treaties that Ghana has signed up to. This will promote effective monitoring and reliable data on arms movement, possession and ownership of firearms in Ghana.”
The statement from the centre for Defence and Security comes on the back of a recent statement from the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) raising an alarm that the Akufo-Addo administration had authorised the importation of the weapons at a time the country was grappling with the threat of terrorism.
But the government said it can confirm that the Mahama Administration under the NDC rather issued the permit for the importation of the arms before leaving office in January 2017.
“It is curious that after the election of 2016, two days to the handing over on the 5th of January  at a time of the transition, this permit was issued on the blind side of everyone,” Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said.
The minister, however, said as the consignment arrived; it was duly inspected in accordance with standard practice and has been delivered at a designated storage area.
“The state security agencies are ensuring that the consignment does not get into the hands of unauthorised persons” he added.
NPP, NDC’s exchanges on imported guns unhealthy – Adam Bona
Security Analyst, Adam Bona last week also called for a quick resolution to the issues surrounding the importation of a large cache of arms into the country.
He believes a meeting should be held to settle on whether the guns should be allowed into the market or turned away from public attention.
Speaking to Citi News, Adam Bonaa said the trading of accusations was unhealthy.
“It shouldn’t have come into the public domain. I think it was out there because probably there was a response from the opposition and so the ruling government had to come and clarify things. We are talking about deadly weapons and for security reasons; it is not every detail that has to come out.”
“So for me, I think they have to stop the argument in public and sit and have some form of dialogue or communication with those who brought in the firearms because it has implications on our security”, he added.
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