Citation(s) from the literature library

Molomo, Mpho G., Bertha Osei-Hwedie, David Sebudubudu, Ian Taylor and Shelly Whitman. 2004 ‘Firearms Dealers.’ Hide and Seek: Taking Account of Small Arms in Southern Africa, p. 34. Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies. 1 October

Relevant contents

There are 39 registered firearms dealers(53) in Botswana who import 500 small arms, mostly shotguns, annually.(54)

Arms dealers are distributed throughout the country. They are issued with permits which must be renewed every three years. There is currently no legislation in Botswana limiting the number of arms dealers. Permits are issued at the discretion of the Minister of the Office of the President. There is no limit on the number of arms dealer licences which a single person can possess. According to one arms dealer, the government does not regulate the number of guns imported into the country. A dealer can import as many guns as his finances allow, however, it appears from information supplied by Customs and Excise officials that only 100 more firearms are imported by dealers than the maximum number of firearm licences which can be awarded annually.

In order to import firearms, dealers are required to fill in an application form. Once approved, the dealer sends the approved application to the supplier who then applies to his/her government for an export permit. For each transaction there must also be an end-user certificate to ensure that firearms are not re-exported to a country under UN Security Council embargo.(55)

Dealers are required to declare the arms and ammunition they are importing at the border to allow Customs officials to crosscheck serial numbers…(56)

The Central Arms Registry regulates arms dealers. Every three months they have to verify their records and reconcile their stock with purchases. No firearm may be sold without being legally registered, but researchers found that firearms are being openly offered for sale through the press. Prices for these guns range from 11 000 Pula to 15 000 Pula.(57)

It appears that through this apparently unregulated market, legal firearms may be sold to unlicenced buyers and are thus transferred from the legal to the illegal pool.


53) Please see Appendix 1 for a list of firearm dealers.

54) Interview with Customs and Excise Officials, 10 July 2003.

55) Interview with Mike Botha, a gun retailer, Pan African Ammunition Manufacturers, Tlokweng, 8 October 2003.

56) Interview with Customs and Excise Officials, 10 July 2003.

57) The current exchange rate determines that the range of prices in US Dollars is 1 666 to 2 500.

ID: Q8811

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