The National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons (NACSA) has revealed that about 2.3 million small arms are in civilian hands, according to a survey conducted by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in 2014, ABC News can report.

The survey indicates that out of the 2.3 million, 1.1 million remained unregistered, with 1.2 million registered with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service.

Senior Programme Officer of the Commission, Mr Gyebi Asante, who made the revelation said Police records showed that less than 100,000 licenses of the 1.2 million registered firearms are renewed annually.

He added that the CID had digitised the registration of civilian firearms and devising a system that would enable the Police to track licensed gun owners who do not renew their licenses for compliance.

He said the system would also facilitate easy renewal of licenses online without gun owners necessarily visiting the Police for renewal.

This, he said, would enable the Police to keep a proper database of all licensed gun owners in the country and track any missing registered firearm.

He said even though it costs only GH¢10.00 to renew licenses for short guns, most licensed gun owners failed to renew their licences.

The National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCSALW) from October 1, 2019, started assigning unique codes to all firearms in the country to enable easy identification, traceability, and accountability.

The exercise, dubbed: “National Weapons Marking”, is to ensure that all guns belonging to the security agencies, as well as civilians, are marked with the unique codes and other features, with information on the owners captured into a database.

The weapons coding exercise is in line with Article 18 of the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, which mandates countries in the sub-region to mark their weapons to enable identification and traceability.