Police warn firearm owners
More registered firearm owners are abusing their guns countrywide, the police say, and those who use their legal firearms for anything but what their licences state risk revocation of their licences and face arrest.
In a statement, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said members of the public who possess firearms should comply with the law and stop carrying or displaying such firearms in public gatherings, shopping centres, service stations and other public places.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police urges members of the public and organisations who are licensed to possess firearms in terms of provisions of the Firearms Act for various reasons which include cash-in-transit, crop protection, and business premises security to religious comply with the law and stop carrying or displaying such firearms in public gatherings, shopping centres, service stations and other public places.
“The Police will not hesitate to enforce the withdrawal of the firearm licences, besides effecting arrests on anyone who abuses the privilege of legally owning a firearm. The public is therefore reminded to take this warning seriously. Meanwhile, all licensed firearm holders should ensure that firearms are properly and safely secured at all times to curb cases where they end in wrong hands,” he said.
Recently, police said these abuse of firearms by the registered firearm holders had resulted in injury and sometimes loss of life of innocent victims and also destruction of property.
According to police, the most common types of abuse of firearms by registered firearm holders included knowingly and without lawful cause pointing a firearm at another person and negligently or recklessly discharging a firearm or causing or permitting a firearm to be discharged in or upon a public or private place.
Committing offences such as attempted murder, murder, armed robbery and poaching using registered or unregistered firearms and insecure firearms, were the other types of abuse.
Further observations were that holders of registered firearms had developed a habit of moving around with firearms unnecessarily without any satisfactory reason.
It is however also an offence to purchase a firearm or ammunition without a firearm certificate.
Failure to renew a firearm certificate is also an offence and in the event that a registered holder passes on, relatives should surrender firearms to the nearest police station immediately for safekeeping pending legal disposal by the executor of the estate.
Members of the public have been urged to report any suspected firearms which are not legally licensed and probably being used to commit crime.