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Ned Nwoke: Nigerians Should Be Allowed to Carry Guns

Delta North Senator Ned Nwoko has urged the Senate to consider a bill permitting Nigerians to own and carry guns and firearms, citing recent security challenges, especially the tragic Plateau killings on December 24, where armed terrorists killed no less than 150 unarmed civilians. 

He said, “An amendment bill allowing civilian firearm ownership must be introduced in the Senate.

“My bill on self-defense and firearms ownership regulation, currently listed in the Senate awaiting its first reading, deals with this pressing issue.

“I am pleased that the topic has gained national significance, sparking diverse opinions and discussions that predominantly fall into two camps – one in opposition and the other in support.”

He further stated that it is clear that the current security measures aren’t effectively protecting our communities., and permitting law-abiding Nigerians to own and carry guns might offer a sense of security and a way to defend themselves and their families from immediate dangers.

While driving his point, the Delta Senator noted that the possibility of sabotage and abuse may arise. To avoid such, multiple control measures must be implemented to maintain oversight.

He emphasized the importance of allowing firearm ownership while implementing strict regulations and thorough training to ensure only responsible individuals gain ownership and can manage firearms safely.

“The illegal smuggling of arms is a significant concern due to the prohibition on bearing arms. Introducing licensed dealerships for firearms could potentially address this issue by creating a regulated avenue for legal firearm acquisition.” He said.

He also added that this action not only aims to reduce illegal arms trafficking but also creates an opportunity to generate income through dealer licensing fees and taxes, and the revenue generated could support law enforcement, enhance security, and fund initiatives tackling root causes of insecurity.

Nwoko outlines the prerequisites for firearm ownership, which include obtaining mental health references from four doctors, validation from the local government chairman for community support, endorsement from a traditional leader as a guarantor, emphasizing cultural trust, and confirmation by the Divisional Police Officer of a clean criminal record. 

 “These requirements aim to ensure a comprehensive vetting process, emphasizing mental fitness, community support, cultural ties, and a clean record for responsible firearm ownership,” he stated.

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