Full statement by Zimbabwe Republic Police Senior Staff Officer (Press, Public and International Relations], Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi on the issuance of firearms licences.
CLARITY BY POLICE ON ISSUANCE OF FIREARM LICENCES
The Zimbabwe Republic Police wishes to advise the public that the Central Firearm Registry is currently reviewing the firearm licencing process for individuals and companies in terms of the Firearms Act, Chapter 10:09.
This position has been taken in view of the abuse of firearms by certain individuals and groups in the country.
Investigations are currently underway to verify allegations that some firearms owners are allowing their weapons to fall into the hands of criminals with some using them to commit armed robbery and other cases. The law will certainly take its course on such firearm owners.
The Police implore business entities, mining, farming, conservancy operators, professional hunters, security companies and those with valid and verifiable reasons to approach the Firearms Controller for the necessary licencing procedures to be followed. This is subject to strict vetting protocols by the Police.
Business entities are urged to religiously adhere to the tenets of the Firearms Act and comply with all legal requirements as they engage the Central Firearm Registry.
Meanwhile, the Police has established that in most cases, relatives of deceased registered firearm holders are failing to surrender firearms after the passing on of a relative due to lack of information on the disposal of the weapons.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police reiterates that firearms belonging to late individuals should immediately be surrendered to the nearest Police Station or firearm dealer for safe custody pending processing of all the required paperwork authorizing one to be in possession of the said firearm.
A receipt for the safe custody of the said firearm is issued upon surrendering the weapon.
According to the Firearms Act, Chapter 10:09 notice should also be given to the Controller of Firearms giving details of the death of the holder of the firearm through the Central Firearm Registry or any local police station.
Any family representative intending to inherit a late relative’s firearm should submit a copy of the death certificate, firearm certificate and a set of personal fingerprints for the vetting process, among other security considerations.
Therefore, a person can only have custody of the firearm after being vetted and deemed fit to possess a firearm and issued with a firearm certificate.
The Firearms Act Chapter 10:09 is very clear, it is an offence to possess a firearm or any ammunition without a firearm certificate. Above all, failure to renew a firearm certificate after the expiry date is an offence.
Observations by the Police indicate that failure to secure firearms by the holders is one of the factors contributing to the influx of theft and robbery of firearms: Registered firearm holders are reminded to ensure that their firearms are well secured at all times so that they do not fall into wrong hands.
The public should take note that it is not automatic that all persons or entities who apply for firearm licences will indeed be issued with such licences.
The Firearm Controller will be guided by the law and strict vetting process which is currently underway.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police urges the public to report any suspicious people with firearms on (0242) 706883, the National Complaints Desk on (0242) 703631/ WhatsApp 0712800197 or any nearest Police Station.