LINCSA INTENSIFIES NATIONAL CONSULTATIONS ON FIREARMS LAW

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Following the formal launch of a project aimed at popularizing the Firearms and Ammunition Control Act, the staff at the Liberian National Commission on Small Arms (LINCSA) has taken the project nationwide with several teams dispatched to the counties.

Two weeks ago six teams from LINCSA visited Bomi, Cape Mount and Gbarpolu counties to meet with a cross section of citizens and educate them about the new law. The teams visited six cities: Sinje and
Robertsport in Cape Mount County; Klay and Tubmanburg in Bomi County; and Gbarma and Bopolu in Gbarpolu County.

Last week, LINCSA dispatched delegations to Bong, Lofa, Nimba and Grand Gedeh counties, who held meetings with county officials, leaders of women and youth groups, traditional leaders, farmers and civil society organizations.

During separate meetings, LINCSA officials explained the new gun law and emphasized that citizens are only permitted to carry single-barrel guns. Speaking further, LINCSA Communications and Outreach Officer
Jerry Mwagbe explained that private security officers are not allowed to carry guns but that authorized state security officers could.

The LINCSA presentations were followed by interactive discussions that revealed the people’s interest in the gun law.

Meanwhile, the LINCSA teams returned to Monrovia over the weekend are expected to begin publishing a series of articles in local dailies to further popularize the gun law.

It may be recalled that on July 11, 2016, President Ellen-Johnson Sirleaf signed into law the 2015 Firearms and Ammunition Control Act. Although it was passed seven months ago, many Liberians are unaware of the passage of the law. For those who know about the law, their knowledge is limited and sometimes skewed because of a lack of understanding.

In its efforts to implement this law, the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms recognizes the need to fill this information gap by undertaking initiatives aimed at popularizing it. The national consultations are just one of the ways the Commission is going about popularizing the law.

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