Firearms Control Act Passed-Stakeholders urged to Support Enforcement

Oct 20, 2015

The Liberia Firearms and Ammunition Control Act of 2015, the legal framework for regulating the possession and use of small arms and light weapons in the country, has been passed into law by the National Legislature.

The domestic guns control law was passed on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 by the Liberian Senate when 24 out of the 30-member House of Senate voted in plenary (20-for, 2-against and 2-abstention) to pass the law in the upper House. Following its passage in the Senate, the Law was sent back to the lower House for concurrence where it was said to have emanated with no notable objection.  

Reacting to the passage of the Liberia Firearms and Ammunitions Control Act, the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms, LiNCSA, has described the action of the Liberian Senate as a welcome development.

A press release issued by the Commission over the weekend quotes the Commission as saying that the passage of the Act by the National Legislature is a huge step towards the processes leading to the full transition of national security from UNMIL to Liberian security apparatus.

The Commission observed that with the passage of the Act, it was now possible to secure the lifting of the arms embargo imposed on Liberia by the UN Security Council since 1992; an action which the Commission says is necessary to allow Liberia’s security forces to acquire arms within the framework of the ECOWAS Convention on SALW Exemption protocol for arming state security forces for the purpose of defending the state.   

It can be recalled that the President of Liberia proffered the draft Liberia Firearms and Ammunitions Control Bill to the 53rd National Legislature during its 4th extended regular sitting in November 2014.  

Prior to its submission by the President, series of stakeholders’ consultations were held, while national and international legal practitioners and experts made inputs into the draft law over a period of seven (7) years beginning from 2008.

Following the concurrence of the lower House, the law is expected to come into force upon the signature of the President of Liberia and subsequent publication into hand bills by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

As the legal framework for guns control in the country, the Liberia Firearms and Ammunitions Control Act of 2015 will, under the oversight of the Small Arms Commission and the Liberia National Police, regulate all aspects of firearms in the country, including the manufacture, sale, brokerage, storage, transfer, transshipment, possession, and use.  

Meanwhile, the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms recognizes and applauds the efforts, contributions and support of all stakeholders for this milestone development.

The Commission calls on all its partners to continue to stand by her in moving forward to the enforcement of the law, including formulation of the administrative regulations, nationwide public education and awareness as well as guns control activities intended to prevent the proliferation and misuse of illicit firearms across the country. 

The Liberia Commission on Small Arms (LINSCA) is currently being supported by UNDP under the ECOWAS-EU Small Arms project launched in Liberia. The project is an integral component of the programme "European Union Support to the ECOWAS Peace, Security and Stability mandate which seeks to support ECOWAS in its capacity to effectively address factors of instability and reinforce a proactive approach to peace-building, conflict prevention and resolution in West Africa.

This is a $5.6 million Euro pilot project being funded by the European Union. It is focused on two clusters covering six (6) countries, namely Northern Niger - Mali; (Sahel) and (Mano River Union) - (West of Cote d’Ivoire; Guinée Forestière; East of Liberia; North-East of Sierra Leone).

In Liberia, the project is being implemented by the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms (LINCSA) in three south- eastern counties namely; Grand Gedeh, Maryland and RiverGee and managed by UNDP for the next two years.

Contact

For further information, contact:

 Dionysius D. Sebwe-Technical Advisor LINSCA Email-blue_delta_five@yahoo.com Tel: +231776819901/886819901

Lacina Barro-Project Cluster Coordinator UNDP; e-mail-lacina.barro@undp.org Tel:+231-886017856

Augusta Pshorr –Communications Analyst E-mail: augusta.pshorr@undp.org Tel: +231-770-003-819/886-521-425

Sam Zota –National UNV Communications Associate Email: sam.zota@undp.org Tel: +231-886-474-563/770175162

 

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