Bill on stiffer penalty for possession of illegal firearms scales second reading in Senate

Bill on stiffer penalty for possession of illegal firearms scales second reading in Senate

The Bill for an Act to amend the Firearms Act, 2004 passed second reading in Senate on Wednesday.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Gbonlahan Dada (APC-Ogun).

Leading the debate on the bill, Dada explained the amendment would provide for stiffer penalty for possession of illegal arms.

He pointed out that the passage and assent of the amended bill would strengthen the existing Act and make the nation safer.

“Apart from the fines and other punitive measures, the bill sought to ensure that shipping agents and other companies involved in the importation of illegal firearms into the nation were held liable,” Dada said.

Other senators, who contributed to the debate, lauded the sponsor of the bill.

They contended that the amendment was coming at a time when possession of illegal firearms was on the increase.

They observed that the bill would help to check the circulation of illegal firearms before and during the 2019 elections.

In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, said that the amendment of the Firearms Act 2004 was an opportunity to make the country safer.

He said that the senate would also pay attention to the provisions guiding the shipment of firearms to check any form of infraction.

He referred the bill to the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to seek the support of experts, security agencies and the public and report back in four weeks. 

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