Citation(s) from the literature library

Mtonga, Robert. 2004 ‘Civilian Firearm Ownership - Zambia.’ Hide and Seek: Taking Account of Small Arms in Southern Africa; Table 8.2, pp. 285-87. Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies. 1 October

Relevant contents

Civilians are permitted to own and use licenced firearms. The Firearms Act of 1970, which has not since been reviewed or amended(10) regulates civilian firearm ownership. The Firearms Act prescribes strict control over the licensing of firearms to civilians…

A 2002 study by Saferworld and SaferAfrica highlighted the absence of reference in the Firearms Act to state-owned firearms, the control of arms brokering or the breach of arms embargoes. The study also pointed out that penalties and fines have not been reviewed since the Act was passed, and that since 1970 high inflation has severely eroded their value.(11)

The Act makes provision for sportspeople, licenced firearms dealers, neighbourhood security watch organisations,(12) hunters, abattoir owners(13) and private security officers(14) to legally own firearms. Licences are also issued to allow for the use of firearms during traditional ceremonies.

Civilians are entitled to own firearms for the purpose of personal protection, though this is discouraged.(15) To cater for tourists seeking to hunt, visitors and resident permit holders can obtain temporary firearm permits.

In the case of organisations (which can be as diverse as private security companies and shooting clubs) firearm licences are either issued to the owners, who can then allow their employees to use them, or to the employees themselves. Whoever is the licencee bears full responsibility for the maintenance and safekeeping of the firearms…(16)

According to a presentation by Mr Tilimboyi, Chief Registrar of the Zambian Firearms Registry, there are currently 86,642 firearms licenced to civilians in Zambia. Of these, 43,295 are shotguns, 32,277 are rifles and 11,070 are pistols…(17)

Table 8.2: Amount of ammunition legally allowable per firearm

Nature of ammunition: Quantity
Pistol: 100 rounds
Rifle (.22 calibre or below): 50 rounds
Rifle (calibre above .22): 100 rounds
Shot guns: 100 rounds
Gun powder: 2 pounds (just under 1kg)
Caps: 100 rounds

Source: Firearms Act, 1970


10) Legislation Study on Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Related Material in the SADC Region, Saferworld, London, 2002.

11) Ibid.

12) A legally recognised local defence unit working in conjunction with the police, which is permitted by the Firearms Act to own firearms individually or severally.

13) Abattoir owners are issued with certificates of exemption provided for under Section 58 subsection 6, as read with Form 7 of the Firearms Act of 1970.

14) Armed guarding of premises or persons, and the armed transiting of assets are illegal, but armed response is permitted by private security companies.

15) Interview with Jones Tilimboyi, Lusaka, 14 August, 2003.

16) Sections 41 and 42 of the Firearms Act of 1970.

17) Presentation by Mr J Tilimboyi, Interpol, Zambia at an Institute for Security Studies workshop, Pretoria, 15 and 16 March 2004.

ID: Q8825

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