852 foreigners own licensed firearms - Kampyongo
ABOUT 852 foreign nationals living in Zambia own licensed firearms, Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo has disclosed. And Mr Kampyongo said Government has no any plans to issue a statutory instrument restricting the use of firearms in public places because such restrictions were already provided for in the laws of Zambia. Mr Kampyongo said this yesterday in Parliament during question for oral answers. Kabwe Central Member of Parliament Tutwa Ngulube wanted to know whether there were any foreign nationals who own firearms in Zambia and whether they were subjected to background checks to ascertain their suitability to own firearms. Mr Ngulube also wanted to know whether the government had any plans to issue a statutory instrument restricting the use of firearms in public places. "If so, what the total number of foreign nationals who owned firearms was as of 30th September, 2018?" Mr Ngulube asked. In response Mr Kampyongo said," Yes indeed some foreign nationals living in Zambia with established residence own firearms." He said the total number of foreign nationals owning licensed firearms stood at 852 as of 30th September, 2018. Mr Kampyongo however said Government had no plans to issue a Statutory Instrument restricting the use of firearms in public places because such restrictions were already provided for under the Firearm Act Cap 110 of the laws of Zambia. He explained that the Firearm Act Cap 110 did not discriminate between foreign and Zambian nationals with regard to the terms of procedure of acquiring firearms. He said all applicants for firearms licences were subjected to background and security checks regardless of nationality to ensure that the firearms do not end up in wrong hands. Mr Ngulube noted that some foreign nationals recently played with the firearms in their shops and accidentally shot their employees. Mr Ngulube asked the minister whether Government intend to publicise the guns rules so that those who owned firearms could be sensitised on the need to protect themselves and the public. Chiengi MP, Given Katuta asked Mr Kampyongo if those applying for firearms licences were subjected to medical checkups to ascertain their mental capacity?In responding, Mr Kampyongo said acquiring a firearm licence was not easy because the applicants had to be subjected to thorough background, security and medical checkups to ascertain their mental capacity and suitability to own firearms. Mr Kampyongo added that those who are found abusing their firearms, the same Firearm Act Cap 110 of the laws of Zambia would be used to deal with them accordingly by either revoking the licence or be charged according to the provisions of the law.