Police has said they will not renew licences for private gun owners who have refused to submit their guns for fingerprinting.
The Uganda police force last year started the process of fingerprinting all guns in the country and accordingly, a total of 57171 firearms belonging to Police, Prisons, Private Security Organizations , individuals and LDUs have already being registered electronically.
The first phase of the exercise which is expected to be concluded by end of January has covered Kampala Metropolitan Area, Katonga, Greater Maska, Rwizi, Kigezi, Rwenzori East, Rwenzori West, Wamala, Savannah, Albertine, North Kyoga, Kidepo, Mt Moroto, Siipi, Elgon, North Bukedi, Bukedi Region, Kiira, Busoga North, Busoga East and Sezibwa.
However, according to Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga, private gun owners have until January to have them registered electronically or else they will lose their licences.
“All guns that have not been test fired will be confiscated and their licences will not be renewed. The owners will also be arrested for being in unlawful possession of firearms,”Enanga told journalists on Monday.
The police mouthpiece said the same fate will be faced by private companies that don’t take their guns to Naguru for electronic registration.
“We have their names and particulars. Whoever refuses, will be taken as having ill motives and will have the licence not renewed and arrested for illegal possession of firearms.”
Following the recent spate of shooting all over 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.
The President, however, 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 fingerprints. 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 know who used it.
The police crime report for the year 2018 indicated that a total of 190 people were killed using guns all over the country whereas 72 others survived death from guns by a whisker.
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 firearm tested, leaves a unique marking on the shell casing, and no two firearms will leaves the same markings.
The casing is then entered into an acquisition station, where it acquires different images.
One, therefore, has a firing pin impression, an ejector mark, a breech face mark and each of these marks or impressions are unique, much like DNA for humans.