WINDHOEK - Namibian Police spokesperson Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi has cautioned against the negligent handling of firearms and ammunition to prevent accidents and loss of lives.
Kanguatjivi made the call in reaction to an increase in reckless handling of firearms that has resulted in some people being shot - some of them fatally.
He says having a secure safe that is either mounted on the wall or out of reach of juveniles, or privately accessible, is a prerequisite to legally obtaining a firearm.
“When one purchases a gun from a firearms and ammunition shop you are obliged to have a safe where the gun will be kept securely,” said the deputy commissioner.
He explained: “But first of all you have to provide the dealer shop with your identities, who will then issue you with a serial number of the gun you wish to buy and bring it to us (Nampol) for fingerprints conduct verification and background check before we grant or deny you a gun licence, depending on your criminal record.”
According to the Arms and Ammunition Act 7 of 1996, no person may have any firearm in their possession unless he or she is a licence holder to possess such firearm. Kanguatjivi emphasised the decision to approve a gun licence depends on the considerable reasons provided in the gun licence application form.
“The purpose and intentions indicated by the consumer has a psychological aspect that reflects the well-being of individuals,” explained Kanguatjivi.
“We don’t authorise guns to someone with objectives to take revenge on others and anything of that sort or to individuals with prior convictions,” he said.
In fact, Kanguatjivi stated, firearms are dangerous, citing a number of cases involving individuals charged with negligent handling of guns.
He particularly indicated that pointing of a firearm is a “serious offence” that is punishable by law. “If you don’t intend to use the firearms, don’t point it as a way to pose a threat because you may be charged for that,” he