Here is what you need to know before owning a gun in Kenya

It isnt that easy for anyone to acquire a gun in Kenya. But with the right knowledge and qualifications it would be easy. Here is what you need to know;

Civilians who apply to be issued with firearms must be sufficiently trained in the use of small arms, have a certificate of clearance from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, and must be at least 21 years of age.

All arms issued to civilians should not be fitted with a silencer or a device that reduces noise or flash.

All light weapons designed for use by security organs are not issued to civilians.

Guns such as Ak47, G3 and MP5 cannot be issued to civilians. One of the firearms owned by Governor Joho is a Rifle .375, mostly used for hunting.

A proposed amendment, Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2015, provides for imprisonment for life for those found in possession of this category of firearms.

When a person in lawful possession of a small arm dies or otherwise becomes unfit to possess or carry it, the immediate next of kin is expected to inform the officer in charge of the local police station who will in turn surrender it to the Central Firearms Bureau.

However, if a family member desires to possess the firearm, he or she will apply as required by law.

There is no law regulating the number of firearms a person should own.

An applicant may be issued with a gun for his personal safety and also for sporting purposes. However, no one should be given more than one firearm for his or her safety.

According to the police, very few applications for self-protection should be approved since the security agencies are generally “capable of providing protection to the public in most circumstances.”

However, in extreme cases where the circumstances of a person’s employment or duties expose him to the dangers of criminal attack, he or she may be permitted to possess a weapon for personal protection.


Where a license holder is believed to be a threat to public safety and peace, police would be justified in revoking their licence.

When renewing gun licences, if an officer discovers that the circumstance under which the original certificate was issued no longer exist, he or she should advise the Central Firearms Bureau not to renew the licence by giving reasons.

Firearms holders’ misconduct can lead to revocation of licences even if they were not in actual possession of the firearm at the time of the incident.

Those whose licences have been terminated may appeal to the Inspector General of Police for a review of their case.


Despite the tough conditions for acquiring civilian firearms in Kenya, some holders of questionable past have also managed to secure such licences.

Investigations have shown that no thorough vetting is done before the applicants are issued with such licences.

In granting the licence, licensing officers at the Central Firearms Bureau largely depend on the recommendations of the vetting panel.

Applicants must pass background checks which consider criminal and mental checks.

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