According to data from the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCSALW), there is an increasing demand for firearms in the country.
The data, which gives a regional breakdown of the percentage of persons who registered for firearms between January and June this year, have the Greater Accra Region recording the highest number of people who registered revolvers.
The figures show that in the Greater Accra Region, 74.4 per cent of people who registered their firearms did so for revolvers, while 21 per cent registered shotguns. In the Ashanti Region, 45.5 per cent registered shotguns, as against 21.5 per cent for revolvers.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic yesterday, the Executive Secretary of the NCSALW, Mr. Jones Borteye Applerh, attributed the increasing demand for firearms in the country to citizens taking their personal security into their own hands, as well as the growing lack of confidence in the security agencies to respond promptly to their security needs.
“The issue about small arms possession is linked to every society’s development; as society grows and people become wealthier, they seek means to protect their properties,” he said.
“The reason people are owning weapons has changed completely. In the past, people were interested in farming, hunting, recreation, etc. What has changed now is that people see the possession of arms as a status symbol or fashion statement,” he added.
Mr. Applerh expressed worry over the increasing number of weapons that were getting missing from the armouries of state security agencies in the country and in other parts of the sub-region.
He attributed the development to inefficient monitoring and record-keeping of arms by state security institutions. “Many armed robbers and civilians are owning AK47 assault rifles.
If you see anybody holding a military-type weapon which is not allowed to be owned by a civilian in the country, there is the 99.9 per cent chance that it has been leaked from some state security armoury, either in the country or the sub-region. The law does not allow civilians to hold such a weapon,” he said.