NAIROBI, Kenya – The Ethiopian government has been focused on national security and social protection throughout the country.
As part of that process, the Ethiopian parliament has passed a law to regulate gun ownership in order to curb increased regional ethnic violence, according to government sources
Guns, both small arms, and military-type weapons are a serious problem in Africa, especially in places where economic constraints are worsening such that unemployed youth revert to armed robberies.
The new gun safety and possession law requires that each region outlines the legal age that one can acquire a gun and also limits the number of guns an individual can have.
Those who break the new law will get up to three years in prison.
Tesfaye Daba, a legislator in the Ethiopian parliament, was quoted by Reuters as having told parliament that there was “a significant number of guns in our society since the previous government.”
The new law will stop the importation of guns by private companies and only allow certain government institutions to trade in guns.
Those found to have involved themselves in arms trafficking would face prison terms of eight to 20 years.
Following Ethiopia’s example would be a good idea for other sub-Sahara African countries where terrorism, armed robberies, etc. are a problem.