Dis Nar rubbish: Sierra Leone passes bill to allow civilians to own guns

| September 18, 2012

Parliament of Sierra Leone (Photo: Sierra Leone Telegraph)

Minister of Internal Affairs – Musa Tarawally (Photo: SierraExpress)

Our Dis nar rubbish post this week goes to the Minister of Internal Affairs and parliament of Sierra Leone for passing a bill that allows civilian gun ownership just 4 months ahead of elections.

You may have missed this but back in August the parliament in Sierra Leone passed ‘The Arms and Ammunitions Bill of 2012′ that permits ordinary citizens in this small post conflict country to own guns. Why would law makers pass such a bill now you might wonder? Well according to Raymond Kabia, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs the bill is to serve those ” individuals or groups who request personal security for their protection and interest” and to “domesticate the United Nations Convention on Small Arms”.

I don’t know about you but it is scary to think that any Tom, Dick, or Musa ‘the minister most likely to make his convoy drive against oncoming traffic’ can now own a gun in Sierra Leone this close to the elections. Opposition PMDC and SLPP law makers who debated the bill in parliament highlighted the rise of “armed robberies”, “internal security issues” and “government purchase of arms” as reasons  why the bill should be tabled until a later date. However an APC majority parliament was able to pass the bill.

As you may have read the government of Sierra Leone bought $5 million worth of arms and ammunition from Belgium in the first quarter of this year.  At the United Nations Security Council the former UNIPSIL ESRG Michael von der Schulenburg questioned  government’s decision to purchase  a consignment of arms that included “machine guns and grenade launchers” in an election year. Schulenburg had argued that he saw no reason for the government to order such weapons for the police (which is what they said it was for) when the country enjoyed such a low crime rate. The government denied that it was trying to use the weapons to its own advantage during the elections but then they went and ahead asked the UN to remove Schulenburg because they thought he was too “outspoken”.

The weapons entered Sierra Leone in January. The shipping document which showed that the weapons had been ordered arrived were leaked between February and March. In August parliament passed a bill allowing civilians to own arms. The elections are due in November and anyone can now own a gun. Are you worried yet?

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Category: News & Politics

Comments (2)

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  1. Amadu kamara says:

    The Arms and ammunition bill was introduced and passed by a democratic votes. I strongly believe in Democracy and no one or group of people should ever breached that democratic process. The people have spoke and we should recognize democracy and abide the rule of the land. Yes, any Sierra Leonean have the right to petition without disturbing the peace.

  2. PRINCE says:

    AFTER SCRUTINIZING THE BILL,I NOTICED THAT ALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO CARRY GUNS, ACCORDING TO HUMAN RIGHTS. ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN, ONE SHOULD NOT CARRY GUNS ON THE INTENTIONS OF GUNNING SOME ONE DOWN, WITHOUT ANY SERIOUS THREAT TO THE INDIVIDUAL. THE CARRYING OF GUNS SHOULD BE SAFETY LOCK, TO AVOID MISS FIRING, WHICH WILL RESULT TO DEATHS WITHIN THAT PERIMETER. INDIVIDUALS SHOULD BE PROPERLY SCREEN AND COUNSEL, FOR TEMPER AND STRESS LEVEL, BEFORE SIGNATURES, AND RELEASE OF CERTIFICATES. NOTE THAT, WE SHOULD FOCUS ON CRIME RATES, ON NIGHT CLUBS, SCHOOLS, ( AS REFERENCES IN THE US ), GANGS AND ROBBERS IN THE STREETS.