Owning a gun may be seen by some as a symbol of protection while others view them as instruments of fear and aggression, capable of inflicting irreparable harm in a split second.

 In Ghana, owning a firearm is a privilege and not a right. The Arms and Ammunition (Amendment) Act, 1972 (Act 604) is the legal instrument that guides the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons since its establishment in 2007. As an Act, its main purpose is to regulate the possession, use, and trade of Arms and Ammunition and to provide for related materials. 

Firearms licenses are not transferable, meaning they cannot be transferred from one individual to another. A licensed firearm is to be used exclusively by the individual in whose name it is licensed and registered. It must be noted that the individual must use the registered firearm for the purpose intended for. This restriction is outlined in the Arms and Ammunition Act, 1972.

According to Section 3 of the Arms and Ammunition Act, 1972, the procedure for change of ownership of firearms is clearly stated out and it reads;

 (1) No person who possesses arms or ammunition in accordance with a valid permit granted under section 2 shall at any time sell, dispose or part with the possession of those arms or ammunition to any other person until—

(a) He has applied in writing to the Inspector-General of Police for permission to do so; and 

(b) The Inspector-General of Police has granted such permission, subject to such conditions as he thinks fit.

(2) Where the Inspector-General of Police grants permission in accordance with subsection (1), the holder of the permit shall surrender it to the issuing authority who shall thereupon re-register the arms or ammunition in the name of the new holder thereof, amend the permit accordingly, and deliver the permit to the new holder.

Just as you cannot use another person’s driving license to drive, you are unable to possess a weapon with another person’s license.

Always ensure to acquire a lawful license before owning or possessing a weapon and remember that, The Criminal Code of 1960 (Act 29) criminalizes the possession of arms and ammunition without license or registration as a first-degree felony and can warrant a jail term of up ten (10) years if you are caught.

The National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons is therefore urging individuals and the general public to adhere to these regulations regarding firearms licenses to maintain public safety and security.

Source: National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons