The law of 2009 restricted arms possession and sale in Rwanda.  Recently, in 2018 lawmakers have passed a new legislation on guns acquisition. This new law will allow individuals to apply for licenses to possess guns and for traders to also sell them.

The government of Rwanda said that even if it’s allowed to possess arms, they aren’t going to be distributed like voting cards. “We are a country that is fast developing and instead of limiting different things we should move to regulate them,” State Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs added.

Most of the citizens stressed that the country’s current security situation was sufficient enough and did not require people owning and selling guns. Some also look back to the country’s past and the role of arms in perpetuating the Rwandan genocide that led to death of thousands.

Details about the law

1 – Arms are defined as firearms and their ammunition, grenade and other explosives used as arms as well as nuclear, biological, chemical or toxic weapons.

2 – The law allows civilians to possess firearms for hunting, sports, or for self-defense purposes if they meet the conditions described in the law.

3 – The law specifies that the Rwanda National Police authorities, who will be responsible for issuing gun possession licenses, may refuse to grant firearm possession and carriage license at their own discretion.

4 – For a person to be authorized to sell arms, the bill stipulates, they shall submit a request letter to the Minister in charge of the Rwanda National Police and attach copies of their identity card or passport, shall be people of integrity, and be at least 21 years old.

5 – Those wishing to sell arms will not have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment equal to or exceeding six months, shall show a safe place where to keep the arms, shall produce a legal commercial registration, and shall commit to not collaborate with terrorist organizations or individual terrorists.

6 – The Cabinet will also have to authorize individuals before they can start selling arms in the country.

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