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Local Guns On The Increase   
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LOCALLY MANUFACTURED small arms and ballistic weapons constitute more than 80 percent of weapons found at all crime scenes in Ghana, police sources have disclosed.

Security agencies are partly crippled in their capacity to put these local producers under effective checks because there are currently no specific working regulations guarding gun production in t he country.

DAILY GUIDE investigations indicate there are about one million illicit small arms (short guns, pistols, pump action guns, etc) currently in circulation. Many of these guns are in private hands. Incidentally, many of them are also in circulation illegally.

Essentially local gunsmiths have a field day producing ballistic projectiles with reckless abandon to fuel this growing appetite for guns in the country.

Jones B. Applerh, Executive Secretary of the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons describes the situation as a “national problem.”

“It is serious because police sources tell us that in recent crime scenes, the weapons that have been used are locally manufactured and if 80 to 90 percent of all crime scenes are having locally manufactured weapons used then it is serious,” Baffour D. Amoa, President of the West African Action Network on Small Arms (WAANSA) told DAILY GUIDE.

He spoke to the newspaper in Accra Tuesday on the sidelines of the official unveiling of Ghana’s delegation to the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, who met a section of the Ghanaian media to explain their stance on small arms proliferation in the sub-region.

The delegation will be lobbying for strict regulations of arms trade for the sub-region hoping to curb the escalating small arms proliferation in countries within the region.

Ghana is currently facing a dire gun problem with proliferation from its war-torn neighbours including Ivory Coast, Liberia and Mali. Sometimes guns coming from all sorts of sources transit through Ghana to Nigeria to fuel the protracted religious and civil unrest in that country.

Instructively, there is thriving illicit gun merchandising in the country that incorporates both local and foreign produced guns that now stands at over one million guns.

It is believed that Ghana inherited its gunsmith skills from the Germans during pre-colonial times in the Volta region, particularly in the Alavanyo area.

For years, security agencies have been overwhelmed by the sheer number of artisans producing guns in the country.

Source: Raphael Adeniran

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