One of the major dangers to the traditional Nigerian way of life is insecurity. Terrorists are killing thousands of people all around the nation, and security forces appear to be overburdened to stop them. The desperate circumstance that led to the civilians arming and defending themselves with various types of firearms and weapons. The number of Nigerians that own guns illegally are more than 500,000. This doesn’t include farmers, security agencies and licensed gun owners.
The issue with this approach is that gun ownership laws in Nigeria are infamously severe. The right to bear arms is primarily reserved for members of the armed forces, despite the fact that the constitution doesn’t take a position on the matter. In this article, we provide you with the procedure on how to become a gun owner in Nigeria legally and how to get a firearm license.
PROCEDURE TO OWN A GUN LEGALLY IN NIGERIA
- User must apply in person
- The applicant must go to the state’s office of the police commissioner in person to apply for a gun license.
- This link contains the address and contact information
- Visit the Police Commissioner’s office and inform the appropriate person that you wish to apply for a gun licence.
- You will receive an application form for a gun licence from the relevant official. Fill out the application form completely and as instructed.
- After completion, submit the application form to the Commissioner of Police together with all the supporting documentation indicated in the “Required documents” portion of this page.
- Then, you must purchase a firearm from a local firearms shop and give the police the firearm’s serial number so they can record it in their records.
- A step-by-step verification and validation process will be used to check the application and any attachments.
- The officials will proceed to conduct the necessary steps for issuing the license if the application and related documentation are deemed sufficient.
- The applicant will be alerted when the gun license is prepared for pickup and instructed to do so however they see fit.
- Filled-out application
- National ID Card
- Valid document showing proof of address
- Age-verification documentation or a sworn oath before a magistrate or notary police clearance certificate
- Health report on mental state
- Medical evaluation of physical condition
- 4 passport-size photos
GUN POSSESSION IN NIGERIA: WHAT THE LAW SAYS
Nigeria still maintains rules for how common people can get a license to legally own guns which according to the law, nobody can own or carry any personal firearm or a gun except one collects a firearm license from the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
Although, the concept of owning a gun may seem nice, the Nigeria current laws do not recognise a right to gun ownership. The right to own guns or other firearms is not included in the Nigerian Constitution, which is the supreme legislation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and establishes both the actionable and inalienable rights of Nigerian citizens. In contrast to the American situation, this is different. The American Constitution’s second amendment states that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”
The laws of the Nigerian federation do not specifically forbid private persons from possessing firearms, despite the fact that there is no inherent right to do so in Nigeria.
LAWS REGARDING FIREARMS POSSESSION
The Firearms Act and the Firearms Regulation are Nigeria’s rules governing the ownership of firearms. These rules regulate the ownership of firearms and ammunition as well as their sale.
The definition of a firearm under the Firearms Act is
“Any lethal barelled weapon of any type that can fire any shot, bullet, or other missile is considered to be such.”
A component part of any firearm, ammunition refers to shots, bullets, missiles, etc. The Firearms Act lists the types of firearms that Nigerian private persons are allowed to possess as well as those that are not.
The Firearms Act’s Section 3 states that
“No one is allowed to possess or control a firearm or ammunition unless they have a license that has been given by the President acting at his discretion.”
PEOPLE WHO CAN’T OWN OR PURCHASE FIREARMS
Additionally, the Firearms Act explicitly states that the following people cannot be issued a license to possess firearms:
- Persons under the age of 17 and those who lack mental capacity;
- those with poor vision who should not be in possession of the aforementioned firearm;
- a person with uncontrollable tendencies;
- a person who, within the five years before the application, was convicted of a crime involving violence or the threat of violence.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ISSUANCE OF FIREARMS LICENSE IN NIGERIA
To obtain a legal firearm license, the following requirements must be met.
- The individual must be at least 17 years old.
- In order to be eligible for the issuance of a license to possess weapons, among other conditions, one must have a spotless criminal record.
- A background investigation of the applicant’s mental health, history of addiction, and potential for domestic violence must be successful.
No independent references from third parties are required for a character check. A license holder must also behave in accordance with the terms of the license once it has been given. The license holder must therefore adhere to the number of firearms allowed by the license, in this case, 1 if the gun license allows for the possession of 1 firearm. In this case, having more than one firearm in your hands violates the terms of your gun license and is in violation of the Firearms Act.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF GUN OWNERS IN NIGERIA
By requesting a license to possess a firearm, a potential gun buyer promises to uphold these six obligations in particular:
- Putting the gun away in a secure location
- Not permitting someone else to use the firearm
- Delivering the weapon and license when a police officer requests them
- Reporting the loss, theft, or destruction of the weapon to the Police authorities
- When a gun license holder travels outside of the country, they must inform the licensing authority and give their gun to a public armoury.
- Notifying the Police authorities of a change of residence for the license holder
TYPES OF FIREARMS IN NIGERIA YOU CAN GET A LICENSE FOR
It is important to note that a private citizen of Nigeria does not have access to all types of firearms, even with a license, despite the option for firearms possession provided by the Firearms Act. Only those who own long weapons are eligible for a license to own firearms (pump actions, hunting rifles and shotguns). The private possession of other types of firearms such as handguns, pistols, AK-47, machine guns, assault rifles, bombs, grenades, etc. is specifically prohibited by the Firearms Act, and a gun license cannot be issued for these kinds of firearms.
LICENSE EXPIRATION, RENEWAL, & REVOCATION
The license can be obtained and is good until the end of the year it was issued, or 31 December. The decision to renew such a firearm license is at the discretion of the body that initially issued it. The gun license may potentially be revoked by the President or the IGP. This revocation may be made at any time and without justification.
A firearm license holder is required to renounce their firearm and place it in the public armoury if their license is withdrawn, revoked, or expires. The gun owner of the license must also notify the police that the firearm has been turned over. When a license holder wishes to leave the nation without the firearm, the same procedure is followed. Before transferring or selling a firearm, the gun license holder must also notify the police. In the event that a license holder passes away while in possession of a firearm, the executor of the estate may keep the weapon for a maximum of 14 days before forfeiting it and putting it in the public armoury.
THE PENALTY FOR ILLEGAL FIREARM OR GUN POSSESSION IN NIGERIA
A crime carrying a maximum 5-year jail sentence is for the illegal possession of a firearm in violation of the Firearms Act and Firearms Regulation, which are noted in the above sentence. Any individual found guilty of illegally possessing firearms under the Firearms Act is subject to a fine of ₦20,000.00 (Twenty Thousand Naira) only, a term of imprisonment of at least 10 years, or both under Section 3 of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act.
HOW SIMPLE IS IT TO OBTAIN A GUN LICENCE IN NIGERIA
Despite the country’s increasing insecurity, the Nigerian government has a strict and negative attitude toward civilians carrying weapons. Most state police command has already stated that it will not issue gun licenses as the government has instructed.
Important rules regarding the sale, transfer, importation, and exportation of firearms are also contained in the Firearms Act and Firearms Regulation. Therefore, it is suggested that those interested in learning more about weapons in Nigeria check these two rules.