Police calls on all illegal gun owners to voluntarily surrender firearms
This review will align with the existing Firearms Act and other relevant laws, with a primary focus on enhancing public safety and overall security.
This plea comes as part of a nationwide effort to address the alarming proliferation of firearms in the country.
The directive, in line with the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Kayode Egbetokun's order, seeks to curtail the widespread circulation of illicit arms and bolster public safety. The announcement was made by SP Yemisi Opalola, the spokesperson for the Osun Police Command.
Opalola emphasised that there will be no punitive measures applied to those who choose to submit their firearms voluntarily, assuring that no one will face arrest or detention for their compliance with the directive.
This move follows IGP Egbetokun's earlier statement on August 8, 2023, in which he announced a temporary halt to the issuance of small arms licenses across Nigeria. The objective is to initiate a thorough mop-up of firearms currently in circulation.
"We are mopping up arms in circulation. There are too many arms in circulation, and if we continue to issue licenses on arms, we may continue to aggravate the problems we are trying to solve," IGP Egbetokun remarked.
The existing Firearm Act has been instrumental in regulating firearms in Nigeria for several years, stipulating that possession of firearms or ammunition without a valid license from the President or the Inspector General of Police is illegal.
In addition to the call for surrendering illegal firearms, IGP Egbetokun has also announced the formation of an ad hoc committee tasked with a comprehensive review of firearms licensing and regulations by the Nigeria Police Force.
The committee's mandate includes a thorough assessment of current firearms licensing procedures and regulations, aiming to make them more effective, transparent, and accountable.
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