Private security companies arming guards with non-firing rifles, says police

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Police have accused some of the private security companies of giving  non-firing rifles to security guards as they go out for their guard duties.

According to police spokesperson, Fred Enanga, in the growing vice, several incidents in which the private security guards were found with non-firing rifles were recorded.

“The Alert Squad confiscated seven guns from private security organisations after the security guards were found carrying faulty guns and in poor working condition. We recovered one unmarked gun from Vision Security, got another one from Pinnacle Security that one of the guards was carrying and was faulty. We also got a faulty gun from Ndugari security which was just an object because it couldn’t fire, a faulty Mark4 from Premier Security Limited and a faulty short gun from Don Ward Security Company,”Enanga said.

According to the police spokesperson, arming guards with faulty guns puts them in a dangerous situation but also the property they guard.

“ All these guns were not serviced whereas the guards were not trained in gun handling skills. We want to inform clients who seek protection services from these companies to also get to know those offering guard services to them. There are those that are not transparent. It puts the lives and property of their clients who pay a lot of money to them.”

He said the crackdown is continuing to ensure sanity prevails in the private security business.

Modifiying guns

The police spokesperson also revealed that private security companies have developed a habit of modifying the guns in their possession from semi-automatic to automatic rifles in disregard of the guidelines.

Guidelines for handing rifles to private security companies indicate that these must be semi-automatic including Pump action, short guns and short assault rifles.

The rifles are hired from Police’s Department in Charge of Police Firearms and Private Security Companies at a fee.

However, according to police spokesperson, Fred Enanga investigations have indicated that a number of private security companies have modified the guns hired out to them into automatic rifles.

“They are modifying the rifles issued to them by police and turning them into high power automatic rifles, something which is not allowed.  Some of these guns are illegally upgraded by local gunsmiths,”Enanga said.

“This is a serious matter because private security guards are trained to use semi-automatic rifles which are low scale weapons, batons and other self -defense methods to carry out their guard duties.”

According to police, private security guards carrying automatic rifles are a danger to the public because they don’t know how to use guns, yet most of the automatic rifles have pellets that when recklessly fired, they can endanger many lives of innocent people.

Police says that with the latest incidents of assailants targeting private security guards for guns, it makes it more dangerous if the rifles are automatic that can easily land into wrong hands and be used for commission of crime.

“Security guards have poor levels of vigilance and alertness and this enriches the arsenal of weapons to criminals. In one incident in Kyengera, a gun was robbed from a private security guard and within two months, the rifle had been used in six various robberies by criminals. It is therefore a concern that high power rifles are in hands of private security guards.”

“Last week, our alert squad confiscated guns from Magnum Security Company who had illegally  modified Pump Action Guns and the SAR guns into automatic rifles. They modified the trigger mechanism and the magazines from five ammunitions to 30 rounds. They mounted a scope on top of them yet they are prohibited from carrying.”

Enanga noted that the police leadership has directed all police commanders to confiscate all automatic rifles from private security guards but has also tasked the leaders of Magnum Security Company to lead them to the people behind the modifications of the rifles.

“The danger with these alterations is sometimes you fail to trace them when they don’t have a serial number because they are built with parts purchased from the internet and assembled. Once these guns end up in hands of violent gangs, it leads to an increased armed violence conflict.”

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