General News of Wednesday, 9 August 2017
The Small Arms Commission has bemoaned the lack of rigorous checks before allowing individuals to carry arms, citing that as a contributing factor to the spate of shootings in the country as legally acquired guns end up in the hands of people who are not qualified to handle arms.
The comments come in the wake of a shootout at Alajo in Accra on Tuesday, 9 August leaving one person in critical condition.
According to eyewitnesses, the shooter parked his Hyundai vehicle in front of a warehouse blocking the access road to the facility. A mechanic told him to move his vehicle to make way for others to have access to the warehouse but that infuriated the suspect who reached for his side arm and fired warning shots.
In the process, a stray bullet hit a bystander in the abdomen causing him to bleed profusely and had to be rushed to the Ridge Hospital for medical attention. The suspect is currently in police custody.
Programmes Director at the Small Arms Commission, Johnson Asante Twum, who was commenting on the issue, explained that individuals need to go through “a certain regime that will tell him or her when and how to use that weapon”.
However, “as it is now, if they just check your background and you pass per whatever criteria that you don’t have any history of violence, not a temperamental person and all that the police will have no reason to deny you”.
Mr Twum, who was speaking in an interview with Accra-based Joy FM on Wednesday, August 9, is advocating that further checks be instituted to ensure that individuals who apply for arms are screened properly.
Additionally, he is calling for tighter measures to ensure that illegal small arms is removed from the system since they pose a serious threat to the security of the country.