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BILL FOR RESPONSIBLE FIREARM OWNERSHIP PASSES FIRST READING

BILL FOR RESPONSIBLE FIREARM OWNERSHIP PASSES FIRST READING

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Senator Ned Munir Nwoko’s Bill on firearm Act amendment has successfully passed through the first reading. The bill which featured on the Senate’s Order paper on Tuesday, February 20, is seeking to alter the Firearms Act Cap F23 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, to provide for personal ownership of firearms for self-defense by responsible and qualified citizens who are daily under attack by criminals.

Senator Ned Nwoko, in his explanatory memorandum, persuades that the Bill is a push towards an effective and efficient self-defense mechanism against bandits, terrorists, kidnappers, and other criminal elements who have turned Nigeria into a killing field where innocent citizens are recklessly mauled down in their numbers. He highlighted the alarming rate of loss of lives and properties due to insecurity, underscoring the necessity of enabling citizens to protect themselves while ensuring strict regulations to prevent misuse.

According to the lawmaker representing Delta North senatorial district, the qualifications for firearm ownership must involve obtaining references from four medical doctors affirming mental soundness, endorsement from the local government chairman for community validation, a traditional leader’s (such as the king) guarantor role emphasizing cultural trust, and confirmation by the State Commissioner of Police and Department of State Services, to verify the absence of criminal involvement. “These requirements aim to ensure a comprehensive vetting process, emphasizing mental fitness, community support, cultural ties, and a clean record for responsible firearm ownership,” he further noted in his statement which went viral weeks ago.

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