Uganda police force has revealed that its task team carrying out the electronic registration of firearms has so far covered 24 regions including the Kampala Metropolitan area (KMP) where they have registered over a total of 57,171 firearms.
This was revealed by the police spokesperson SP Fred Enanga during a press briefing on December 2, 2019 at the police headquarters Naguru.
According to Enanga, the registration of fire arms target Prisons, Private Security Organizations, Individual civilians and LDUs and this phase of registration is expected to be concluded by end of January, 2020.
The regions covered include the KMP, Katonga, Greater Maska, Rwizi, Kigezi, Rwenzori East, Rwenzori West, Wamala, Savannah, Albertine, North Kyoga, Kidepo, Mt Moroto, Siipi, Elgon, North Bukedi, Bukedi Region, Kiira, Busoga North, Busoga East and Sezibwa.
According to the police mouthpiece, the fingerprinting of guns has proven to be effective in reducing incidents of security involved shootings, simply because the ballistic record in the database is easily traceable to an individual or group of individuals, unlike in the past where no ballistic records existed.
Each firearm tested, leaves a unique marking on the shell casing, and no two firearms leave the same markings.
The casing is then entered into an acquisition station, where it acquires different images, like a firing pin impression, an ejector mark, a breech face mark. Each of these marks or impressions are unique, much like the DNA for humans.
As images of shell casings are entered into the database, the system searches for matches of shell casings left behind at crime scene, allowing forensic ballistic experts to link them up to incidents.
The DNA fingerprinting has the potential to solve gun crimes and even prevent future crimes by getting the most violent and active criminals for the vast majority of shootings, off the streets.
For instance a total of 9 notorious suspects were linked to 17 armed robberies within Ntungamo, Kiboga, Kyengera, Matugga, Bulenga, Wakaliga, Kasangati, Kibibi, Mbale, Kitemu and Lyantonde.
Four (4) guns were recovered. Another gang of 4 was linked to 8 incidents, which include 4 cases of murder and aggravated robbery, 3 of aggravated robbery and 1 of murder in the areas of Nateete, Katwe, Kanyanya, Nansana and Kajjansi.
The exercise is continuing within the KMP for selected PSO and civilians and will be concluded within the next two months.
The task team will then embark on firearms under the military.