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The Nigerian Law on the Possession of Firearms

The Nigerian Law on the Possession of Firearms

On Monday 27 June, the Zamfara State Government mandated residents of his state to purchase firearms to protect themselves against bandits terrorizing the state. This controversial order had Nigerians across the nation questioning the possibility of owning a gun and exactly what kind of people qualified for them.

There is, however, a law on guns and firearms in the Nigerian Firearm Act chapter 146 of Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1990. This act explains the provisions for possessing and carrying firearms, guns, missiles, bullets, or ammunition. Also, the act made it impossible for an individual to possess any firearm weapon without the Inspector General of Police’s -IGP approval.

Some of the requirements that the Firearms law required were that the individual/citizen being granted the possession of a firearm right was

1) more than seventeen years of age

2) of sound mind

3) fit to possess firearms on account of good eyesight

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4) able to show restraint etc

However, the question on some Nigerian minds is none other than if the Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle had the power to make such an order because the Firearms Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1990 clearly states that the President was the only authority figure capable of ordering his citizens on when and whom could carry guns and other ammunition in the country.

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