The Uganda police force has started the process of fingerprinting all guns in the country, the Nile Post has learnt.
In June, while addressing parliament on the state of security in the country, President Museveni announced a number of measures to curb criminality and among them was fingerprinting of all guns in the country.
He would later issue an order for the exercise to begin.
However, this website has learnt that the exercise started a month ago with Kampala Metropolitan areas of Mukono, Kampala and Wakiso where crime is most rampant.
“The process started a month ago and after Kampala Metropolitan, they will go to the rest of the country,” said a source that preferred anonymity because he is not authorized to speak on the matter.
He added that the process started with all guns in the hands of the police force after which they would embark on fingerprinting guns under other sister security agencies.
When contacted, Deputy Police spokesperson Patrick Onyango confirmed the exercise has begun.
“It has already started and we are going to fingerprint all guns in the country starting with police, followed by those owned by private security companies, army, prisons, Uganda Wildlife Authority and later those in the hands of private individuals,”Onyango told the Nile Post.
Asked how crucial the exercise will be, the police publicist said this will help them a lot in case of crimes committed using guns.
“All guns will be fingerprinted and if a crime us committed using a gun, we can be able to know the gun used by the checking the tip of bullet in the body or bullet shells and this will to help in investigations and also tracking of culprits,”Onyango added.
A flurry of unsolved murders by shooting of prominent persons including Maj.Muhammad Kiggundu, prosecutor Joan Kagezi, AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi, Col.Ibrahim Abiriga and the latest being ASP Muhammad Kirumira have rocked the Kampala Metropolitan areas in the recent years.
In all these murders, unknown assailants moving on motorcycles shoot dead their targets before vanishing in thin air, a thing that has created panic and shock among the population.
However, speaking to parliament, Museveni said he had tasked the sub-committee of the National Security Council (NSC) to embark on fingerprinting all guns in the country.
He wondered why Police had not bothered to do the job of fingerprinting guns yet they had the capacity to do it as one of the ways to help fight criminality.
“Months ago, I was told that these cartridges left at the scene of crime can tell us which gun fired which bullet. I was also told that our people have machines to detect these finger prints. That was amazing. I have now issued an order to the sub-committee to have all prints taken of all the legal guns in the country,” the president told parliament.
“We shall have all the guns fired in a controlled condition to capture these prints and store them. If any legal gun is used in a crime, we shall know.”
He noted that if any of the guns are used to commit murder or any other crime, security operatives would now be in position to track the gun and known who used it.
He however revealed that other methods including acquiring of modern scanners by Uganda Revenue Authority at custom points to help check smuggling of illegal items like guns disguised under cargo would be put to use.
According to experts investigators using ballistic fingerprinting analyse a fired bullet or casing for scratches under the microscope and the markings, just like for fingerprints are unique to each weapon.
In case of any incident of shooting, the bullet shell is picked by investigators and analysed to find out the details of the gun used and its current owner.
The fingerprinting process involves firing various guns in a controlled area and each gun’s unique print is captured, recorded and stored.