The Deputy Inspector General of Police, Maj.Gen.Paul Lokech has directed the Police director in charge of operations to immediately ensure all firearms in the hands of private individuals are documented.
“I ask the Director of Operations to work with the Directorate of Forensics to identify all private firearms in the hands of the population. They all must be documented,” Lokech said on Thursday afternoon during the commissioning of the forensic capabilities under the national CCTV project at Police headquarters in Naguru.
Recently, records from the Ministry of Internal Affairs revealed that up to 19,000 guns are owned illegally by civilians or private security firms.
This could partly explain the increasing wave of gun-related crimes, including killings in several parts of the country.
The deputy police chief re-echoed President Museveni recent directive to upgrade the police’s capacity to detect intermittent misuse of firearms by upgrading the Integrated Ballistic Identification Systems for fingerprinting of firearms.
Police in 2018 started a process of fingerprinting of all guns in which a fired bullet or casing are analysed for scratches under the microscope and the markings, just like for fingerprints are unique to each weapon.
The fingerprinting process involves firing various guns in a controlled area and each gun’s unique print is captured, recorded and stored and in case of any shooting, the bullet shell is picked by investigators and analysed to find out the details of the gun used and its current owner
On Wednesday, Police Director in charge of operations, AIGP Edward Ochom said guns from Police, private security organisations and individuals have already been tested but noted the exercise is still going on.