Citation(s) from the literature library

Mwakasungula, Undule and David Nungu. 2004 ‘Assessing Firearm Controls.’ Hide and Seek: Taking Account of Small Arms in Southern Africa, pp. 90-91. Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies. 1 October

Relevant contents

The 1967 Firearms Act regulates firearm control in Malawi. Other legislation containing references to firearm control includes the National Parks and Wildlife Act, the Preservation of Public Order and Security Act, the Dangerous Drugs Act, the Customs Act and the Police Act (which is currently under revision).

The de facto functioning of the firearm control system has evolved independently of the legislation, particularly in relation to the issuing of firearm licences. For example, an applicant must receive a recommendation from a senior community member, such as a village headman, prior to applying for a firearm licence, a requirement not stipulated in the Firearms Act.

In terms of record keeping, recent research conducted by SaferWorld and SaferAfrica concluded that the Central Firearms Registry, which maintains a manual recording system, is significantly under-resourced and has resulted in licence renewals not being effectively monitored.(34)

On the issue of marking and tracing of state-owned firearms, an unofficial presentation by a Malawian police representative at the SARPCCO training workshop on the identification and handling of firearms held in June 2003 noted that:

"In Malawi, identification of firearms has become a problem of late due to scarcity of reference books and the absence of proof marks on firearms and ammunition that are found at the scene of crime."(35)

On the matter of the disposal of state arms the Malawi country report at a SARPCCO meeting in April 2003 stated that:

"Until now, there have not been any state-owned firearms that can be said to have been rendered surplus, redundant or obsolete requiring disposal thereof. However, steps have at all times been taken to destroy, through burning, of all home made guns that have been confiscated by the police."(36)

[SARPCCO = Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation]


34) Cross, P. et al, Law of the Gun: An Audit of Firearms Control Legislation in the SADC Region, SaferAfrica and Saferworld, June 2003.

35) "Malawi Country Report: Marking,Tracing and Disposal of State-Owned Firearms", 3-4 April 2003, Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Co-operation Organisation, Zimbabwe, p.2.

36) Malawi Report on the Identification and Handling of Firearms and Training at the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation training workshop facilitated by the Institute for Security Studies, 9-11 June 2003, Pretoria.

ID: Q8794

As many publishers change their links and archive their pages, the full-text version of this article may no longer be available from the original link. In this case, please go to the publisher's web site or use a search engine.