Ethiopia to Begin Registration of Privately-Held Firearms

By Staff Reporter

Attorney-General-EthiopiaMay 4, 2020 ( -- The government of Ethiopia will begin registration of privately held guns shortly and institutions and individuals should get their small arms registered over the coming two years, the federal attorney general has said.

“Any party can not own, buy, sell or transfer firearms without the knowledge concerned government office, Adanech Abiebie,” the federal attorney general told state’s news agency.

Last January, the Ethiopian parliament approved new firearms administration and control law aimed at curbing gun ownership after a surge in regional ethnic violence blamed on the proliferation of small arms in private hands.

“Those government offices which are legally entitled to oversee the execution of the law carry out the registrations shortly,” Adanech said

According to the attorney general, those institutions or individuals who have licenses for their small arms can not carry them anymore unless registered again based on the new legislation.”Failing to do so will result in the confiscation of the firearms by the government.”

The new firearms administration and control law intends to create awareness on the disadvantages of carrying firearms and establish confidence among the Ethiopian public that the government is eligible to carry firearms to maintain the peace and security of citizens.

The new law also prohibits carrying what is called silent weapons including daggers, swords, knives, spear, blade, and arrow.

Adanech said no party in Ethiopia has been licensed to transfer or sell rifles and hence those firearms transactions that have been taking place in different parts of the country were illegal, she said

According to the attorney general, there will an organ to be recognized by the government that will follow transactions and transfer of firearms in the country.  

According to the new law, unless otherwise licensed by the concerned government body, any party or individual will not be allowed to own, import, export, hoard, keep, use, broker, buy, sell, transfer, smuggle, manufacture, offer training on the use of firearms, carry sharp materials and eyeglasses that are used in battlefields.

The law states that members of political parties, people working in religious institutions, NGOs, and learning institutions are not allowed to own firearms.

Over the past two years, the government has reported confiscation of thousands of rifles that have been smuggled into the country mainly from Sudan.

The spread of small arms has been partly blamed for hundreds of killings in various ethnic conflicts over the past two years that have displaced more than 2.7 million people.

“There is a significant number of guns in the society since the previous government and the new law will help us to formalize ownership,” she added.

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