KAMPALA – Police have so far fingerprinted 57,171 firearms in an ongoing exercise that is expected to cover the whole country.
Addressing journalists in Kampala on Monday, December 02, 2019, police spokesman Fred Enanga said the 57,171 firearms have been registered in KMP, Katonga, Greater Masaka, 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 regions.
He said the team carrying out the electronic registration of firearms registers those that belong to the Police, Prisons, Private Security Organizations, Individual civilians and LDUs. The phase of registration is expected to be concluded by end of January 2020, Mr Enanga said.
The police spokesman said 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,” he said.
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.”
Mr Enanga added that DNA fingerprinting has the potential to solve gun crimes and 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,” he added
He said 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.