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Small Arms Commission to commence marking weapons in police and army armouries

By Samuel Ben Turay

 The Small Arms Commission will soon commence the process of marking arms under the control of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) and the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Force (RSLAF), Deputy Commissioner, Retired Colonel Saa Anthony Sinah told Concord Times yesterday.

He said the marking of weapons in the armouries of the security forces would enhance easier identification from those owned by private individuals, ahead of plans to issue licenses to private individual owners of weapons.

“We will start marking all government weapons, particularly those with the Sierra Leone Police and the Army,” revealed the deputy commissioner.

He said the object of the establishment of a Small Arms Commission was to regulate and supervise the manufacture, trade and use of small arms and light weapons, their ammunition and other related materials, in the country.

The Commission has the statutory function to put in place programmes of action to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit manufacture, trade and use of small arms and light weapons, educate and sensitize the public and provide information on the dangers associated with the illicit manufacture, trade and use of small arms and light weapons.

A new Act, the Arms and Ammunition Act, 2012 stipulates requirements for the license of guns by private owners, including local hunters. The Commission, which was established in 2011 by an Act of Parliament, is part of institutional provisions recommended by the ECOWAS Convention of Small Arms and Light Weapons, the legally-binding regulatory framework guiding all fifteen West African states.