An amendment to the existing Fire Arms Act seeks has passed second reading in the Senate. Senator Bukola Saraki, president of Senate, has said the new law would empower the relevant security agencies to ‘increase fines and destroy all firearms illegally imported into the country or that are in the possession of individuals that do not have valid licenses’.
In his post on Facebook, Senator Saraki said the amendment is pertinent due to “the recent reports of the Nigerian Customs Service finding four illegal shipments of firearms in the last few weeks. “With its (the amended bill) eventual passage, we will be strengthening the existing Fire Arms Act and making our nation safer”, he said.
He further explained that “apart from the fines and other punitive measures that are imposed on individuals, we will also be looking at the laws that are currently in place to ensure that shipping agents and other companies that are involved in the importation of illegal firearms into the nation are held liable”.
Senator Saraki also revealed the bill had been sent to the Committee on Judiciary and Legal Matters for further work while a public hearing would soon be held on it.
He stated that the public hearing is “to seek the support of experts, security agencies and the general public in coming up with a thorough legislative strategy to combat the proliferation of weapons in our country and our communities.”
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