Mar 26, 2013

GUNS AND LICENSES: NIGERIAN FIREARMS ACT

The Nigerian Fire Arms Act (1990) provides that no person shall have in his possession or under his control any firearm or ammunition except such person has a license from the President or from the Inspector General of Police.
It states further that no license or permit to carry fire arms should be granted to applicants under the age of seventeen; persons who are of unsound mind; persons not fit to have possession of the firearm in question on account of defective eyesight;
persons of intemperate habits or anyone who has during the previous five years been convicted of an offence involving violence or the threat of violence.
Except for licensed fire arm dealers, it is unlawful for anyone to buy or sell fire arms or ammunitions. The same goes for fire arm manufacturing, only the Inspector – General of police can grant a license to make and repair fire arms in Nigeria, however such persons must be duly documented and registered.
Anyone who has in their possession unlicensed firearms;  who imports or exports firearms or ammunition other than through prescribed ports or who manufactures, assembles, or repair of firearms and ammunition unlawfully shall be liable to a minimum sentence of ten years imprisonment.
The list of prohibited firearms as stated in the law includes: artillery, apparatus for the discharge of any explosive or gas-diffusing projectile; rocket weapons; bombs and grenades; machine-guns and machine-pistols; military rifles, namely those of calibres 7.62 mm, 9 mm., .300 inches and .303 inches; revolvers and pistols whether rifled or unrifled (including flint-lock pistols and cap pistols).
Personal fire arms are also prohibited including shotguns other than- automatic and semi-automatic shotguns; shotguns provided with any kind of mechanical reloading device; sporting rifles, air-guns, air-rifles or air-pistols and humane killers of the captive bolt type. Dane-guns, flint-lock guns and cap guns are also included in the list.

 The President if he thinks fit may at any time by proclamation prohibit the possession of or dealing in any firearms or ammunition, either throughout the Federation or in any part thereof, and either absolutely or except subject to such restrictions or conditions as may be specified.
Such proclamation from the President may require the surrender of firearms and ammunition within a specified time and to a specified authority, and any person neglecting to make such surrender, or being in possession of or dealing in any firearm or ammunition during the period that such proclamation is in force, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a penalty of one thousand naira or imprisonment for two years, or to both such fine and imprisonment.

The law allows for the establishment of rifle clubs on the condition that:
(a)  That any such rifle club shall be constituted having a president and a secretary, and shall have a committee formally elected by the club members;
(b) That all members subscribe to and are bound by a set of rules duly drawn up by the committee;
(c) That the secretary shall submit to the authorised police officer a copy of the club rules together with a memorandum requesting permission for club members to hold rifle practices setting forth-
 (i)  the name, age, address and occupation of each club member, and the official position held in the club by such member,
 (ii) the type of firearms intended to be used by the club,
(iii) a description of the type of practice intended to be held by the club,
(iv) the proposed venue of the club for such practices, and the times of such practices,
(v) the particulars of the ownership of any firearms belonging to the club, and of the licences to bear such firearms, or the source or sources from which it is intended to borrow firearms for the use of the club,
(vi) the name and address, and the qualifications, of a club member or associate nominated by the club committee to be the person responsible for the observance of the safety rules laid down by the club committee, or by the authorised police officer during any rifle practices held by the club,
 (vii) the manner of safeguarding all firearms belonging to the club during the periods that such firearms are not in use by club members,
 (viii) the method of transportation of such firearms to the venue of any rifle practice.
(d) That no rifle practice shall be held without the permission of the authorised police officer and unless such restrictions, terms and conditions as he may think fit are complied with.



Adedunmade Onibokun Esq.
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