Institute for Public Policy calls for fast-tracking of amendments on gun control act
The Institute for Public Policy and Research (IPPR) in its latest research publication, called for the fast tracking of amendments on the Arms & Ammunition Act of 1996.
According to the institute, some amendments on the act are expected to make it harder to acquire a firearm license, and would thus raise the minimum age for acquiring a firearm license from 18 to 25 years.
Titled ‘No Room for Complacency: Small Arms Control & Crime in Namibia’, the research done by IPPR Research Associate, Dietrich Remmert raises concern over the increasing gun related crimes in the country.
The research shows that gun-related murders have increased to 14.5% between 2008/9 to 2016/17 from an average 3.4% between 1995 and 2002.
“More research and access to crime statistics and information is needed to gain better understanding of gun crime, violence and crime overall in Namibia,” Remmert, adding that, however, the focus on gun-related crimes should not neglect overall instances of crimes in the Country.
Remmert suggests that the amendment Bill should included new provisions on legal ammunition amounts and mandatory gun competency tests. Another suggestion is that cases of poor stock control should draw more punitive measures.
Furthermore, the research shows that theft and loss of legally owned guns, is a growing concern, often due to negligence.
“Overall there has been a limited increase of civilian owned firearms; tendency towards handguns and self-defence. Increase in firearm licences does not appear to have a direct bearing on gun-related crimes,” Remmert said.