If you own a gun but ignored vetting order deadline, you are a ‘wanted criminal’

If you own a gun but ignored vetting order deadline, you are a ‘wanted criminal’

Police Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai has issued an arrest warrant for over 4,000 gun holders who failed to surrender their firearms.

In a stern statement issued on Friday, the IG said they are ‘dangerous criminals’ and an operation to apprehend, disarm and charge the culprits will begin immediately.

“The 7-day respite they were granted to surrender their guns to the government lapsed yesterday (Thursday, July 4, 2019),” Mutyambai said.

According to him, 4,407 registered gun holders did not present themselves for the mandatory vetting exercise that was to ascertain the authenticity and proficiency of their licenses.

Interior CS Fred Matiang’i had issued a directive on February 4 requiring the Civilian Firearms Licensing Board to vigorously vet firearm dealers, civilian firearm holders and shooting range owners.

On Friday, the IG noted that 9,398 registered gun owners were vetted and 6,958 cleared in the process that also uncovered ‘peculiar lapses and procedural improprieties in the acquisition, use, possession and transfer of firearms.’

1,493 firearms ad 21,732 assorted ammunition were confiscated.

“There are therefore 4.293 gun owners who are deemed to be in illegal possession of firearms and ammunition,” IG Mutyambai added.

The operation is part of the Interior Ministry’s move to deal with a surge in gun-related crime in the country.