Citation(s) from the literature library

Thwala, Phumelele. 2004 ‘Civilian Firearm Ownership.’ Hide and Seek: Taking Account of Small Arms in Southern Africa, pp. 272-3. Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies. 1 October

Relevant contents

The civilian firearm licensing process is rigorous. It is initiated in the applicant's home area where he/she must be interviewed by the local chief's council. At this level, the decisive factors are the "character of the applicant" and his or her "general reputation" in the community. If the chief's council feels that the applicant lacks the necessary character and reputation to own a firearm then s/he will be disqualified from the licensing process.

If the chief's council approves the application, the local chief is required to fill out and sign an official form. The applicant must also fill out an official form. Both forms must then be submitted to the relevant police station commander. The applicant will then have his/her fingerprints taken at their local police station. A lengthy process then ensues. Several officials and state bodies have to give their approval before a firearms licence can be issued: the Local Station Commander, the Regional Administrator, the Director of Crimes at Police Headquarters, the Licensing Officer/Registrar of Firearms Registry, and the Licensing Board.

According to the Licensing Officer, the Licensing Board does not meet on a regular basis, and is only convened when a minimum of 200 applications have been received…(9)

Once a firearm licence application has been approved by the Board, the applicant is issued with a Permit to Purchase which s/he needs to take to a local police station and pay a E50 (US$ 7.57) registration fee, after which the applicant will receive a Certificate of Registration. The police station commander then inspects the applicant's place of residence or business to determine whether he/she owns an appropriate firearm safe, which is one of the requirements for a licence. If the police are satisfied about the existence and condition of a safe, then the applicant will be issued with a Possession Licence at a cost of an additional E50 (US$ 7.57), which entitles him/her to purchase a firearm from a registered firearms dealer…

There are currently 11,407 registered firearms in Swaziland, owned by 8,711 registered firearms owners…

The Arms and Ammunitions Act of 1964 does not require prospective firearms owners to acquire a firearms competency certificate, although the Swaziland Rifle Association and some firearm dealers offer training…

In 2002 the records of the Central Firearm Registry were computerised.


9) Interview with the licensing Officer, Mbabane, 4 September 2003.

12) Royal Swaziland Police Service Annual Report 2002, p32.

ID: Q8820

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