Cabinet has approved the principles for the proposed Small Arms and Light Weapons Control Bill.

This repeals the Firearms Act Cap.299 and its regulations; and provides for the interpretation of various words or phrases as used in the proposed Small Arms and Light Weapon Bill.

The Bill also provides for the establishment of structures for effective implementation of the proposed Small Arms and Light Weapons Bill and provide for prohibition of acquisition, possession and use of certain Small Arms and Light Weapons, It also strengthens and streamlines certification, licensing and accreditations in respect of small Arms; and strengthen and streamline certification, licensing and accreditations in respect of Small Arms.

The Bill also provides for acquisition, possession and use of Small Arms and Light Weapons by civilians, Private Security Organization and State Security Agencies; strengthen and streamline manufacturers, gunsmiths, dealers, brokers financiers and transporters of Small Arms and Light weapons.

The Bill also provide for powers of Police in regulating and control of Small Arms and Light Weapons and effective investigation and prosecution of offenders. It further provides for administrative reviews and appeals; provides for security and safe storage of Small Arms and Light Weapons and provides for prescription of offences for persons who contravene any provisions of the law and provide for transitional provisions.

This comes three days after President Museveni ordered Martins Okoth-Ochola, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), to put an end to what he termed as “random shootings”, citing some incidents that have occurred recently.

“I am writing to direct you to stop the random shootings by the LDUs and Police, all under the command of the Police,” Museveni wrote in a letter to the IGP, which was also copied to a number of senior government officials.

The president cited incidents in Katakwi, Isingiro and Bugiri where four people were shot dead under conditions that could have been avoided. (Two died in Isingiro and the rest in the other districts.)