Citation(s) from the literature library

Mwakasungula, Undule and David Nungu. 2004 ‘Licensing.’ Hide and Seek: Taking Account of Small Arms in Southern Africa, pp. 82-83. Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies. 1 October

Relevant contents

The Registrar of Firearms is the only legal authority that can issue licences to civilians to acquire, possess, carry or transfer firearms or ammunition in Malawi. No firearms may be manufactured, sold, transferred, acquired, tested or possessed without a licence issued by the Registrar of Firearms with the approval of the Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security. Contravention is punishable by a fine and imprisonment.

According to the Firearms Act, the Registrar of Firearms has to be satisfied that the applicant:

a) is not a person of intemperate habits or unsound mind;
b) will at all times keep such firearms or ammunition securely;
c) will at all times take all reasonable precautions to ensure that such firearms or ammunition are not lost or stolen and are not at any time available to any person not lawfully entitled to them.

In practice (although this is not a legal requirement), applications for licences need the support and signature of two senior members of the applicant's community. The application also needs the recommendation of the District Commissioner and Police Officer in charge of the area.The police investigate whether the applicant has been involved in any form of criminality in the past, so applications must be accompanied by the applicant's fingerprints.

It is also the practice that a person other than the licenced owner may carry a firearm provided that he or she has obtained a letter from the licenced owner.(10)


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

ID: Q8799

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