Over 7000 apply for firearms

16th May 2017
Gun Raffle Source:The Midweek Sun


By Nicholas Mokwena - Reporter

Over seven thousand people have applied for permits to own firearms, police have said. Botswana Police Service each year avails 50 permits, which are awarded through a raffle. Police Deputy Commissioner (Operations) Bruno Paledi stated that Batswana want firearms for various reasons, mainly for protection of property and livestock.

He revealed during the raffle held at police headquarters in Gaborone that the number of people who have applied this year is double the number of those who applied last year. This year 7 453 people applied compared to last year’s 3 540. Paledi said this is a big number given that they only raffle for 50 shotguns.

The police boss stated that the only raffle is for shotguns. “We have decided to suspend raffle for rifles because they are very dangerous for our country as they are associated with big game”, he said. Paledi, who is the Arms Quota Board Chairman, expressed concern about failure by Batswana to take care of the guns.
Paledi urged the public to always ensure that the weapon is put in a safe place where only them can locate it. “There have been instances where people keep their guns in places that expose them to criminals who usually use the same weapons against owners when committing crime”.

He said there is an increase of unlicensed firearms in the country, which he fears could be finding their way through smuggling at border-posts. Paledi revealed that those who smuggle the guns are very clever as it seems they monitor the operations at the border-posts and smuggle the guns when searching is not thoroughly done. He said most of these firearms are pistols and are used in robberies.

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