Sierra Leone Commission on Arms and Ammunitions Act, 2023
Act 24 of 2023
- Published in Sierra Leone Gazette 38 on 19 June 2023
- Assented to on 2 May 2023
- Commenced on 19 June 2023
- [This is the version of this document from 19 June 2023.]
Part I – Preliminary
1. InterpretationIn this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—"Advisory Committee" means the Sierra Leone Commission on Arms and Ammunitions Advisory Committee established under section 13;"ammunitions" mean devices destined to be shot or projected through the means of firearms including—(a)cartridges;(b)projectiles and missiles for light weapons;(c)mobile containers with missiles or projectiles for anti-craft or anti-tank single action systems;"attack helicopters" means rotary-wing aircraft designed, equipped or modified to engage targets by employing guided or unguided anti-armour, air-to-surface or air-to-air weapons that are equipped with an integrated fire control and aiming system, including versions of these aircraft that perform specialised reconnaissance or electronic warfare missions;"armoured combat vehicles" means tracked, semi-tracked or wheeled self-propelled vehicles, with armoured protection and cross-country capability, either—(a)designed and equipped to transport a squad of four or more infantrymen; or(b)armed with an integral or organic weapon of at least 125 mm calibre or a missile launcher;"arms" include conventional arms such as battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and missile launchers, their ammunition and other related materials;"battle tanks" mean tracked or wheeled self-propelled armoured fighting vehicles with high cross-country mobility and a high level of self-protection, weighing at least 16.5 t (metric) unladen weight, with a high muzzle velocity direct fire main gun of at least 75 mm calibre."brokering" means work carried out as an intermediary between a manufacturer, supplier or distributor of arms and a buyer or user, including the provision of financial support and the transportation of arms;"Chairman" means the Chairman of the Sierra Leone Commission on Arms and Ammunitions Advisory Committee appointed under subsection (3) of section 13;"combat aircraft" means fixed-wing or variable-geometry wing aircraft designed, equipped or modified to engage targets by employing guided missiles, unguided rockets, bombs, guns, cannons or other weapons of destruction, including versions of such aircraft that perform specialised electronic warfare, suppression of air defence or reconnaissance missions excluding primary trainer aircraft, unless designed, equipped or modified;"Commission" means the Sierra Leone Commission on Arms and Ammunitions referred to in section 3;"Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the Sierra Leone Commission on Arms and Ammunitions appointed under section 4;"Convention" means the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunitions and Other Related Materials, done at Abuja, on 14th June, 2006;"Deputy Commissioner" means the Deputy Commissioner of the Sierra Leone Commission on Arms and Ammunitions appointed under section 4;"ECOWAS" means the Economic Community of West African States comprising Heads of State and Government of the Member States to the Convention;"export" means to—(a)take arms or ammunition, licensed or registered out of one country to another country; or(b)cause arms or ammunition, licensed or registered to be taken out of a country to another country through any harbour, airport or other place on board a vessel or aircraft, or by any other means of conveyance;"import" means to bring arms or ammunition, or cause them to be brought into Sierra Leone;"large-calibre artillery system" includes guns, howitzers, artillery pieces that combine the characteristics of a gun or a howitzer, mortars or multiple-launch rocket systems capable of engaging surface targets by delivering primarily indirect fire and having a calibre of 75mm and above;"light weapon" includes portable arms designed to be used by several persons working together in a ream and which include heavy machine guns, portable grenade launchers, mobile or mounted, portable anti-aircraft cannons, portable anti-tank cannons, non-recoil guns, portable anti-tank missile launchers or rocket launchers, portable anti-aircraft missile launchers and mortars with a calibre of less than 100 millimetres;"man-portable air-defence system" means a surface-to-air missile system designed to be man-portable, carried and fired by a single individual as well as other surface-to-air missile systems portable by several individuals and designed to be operated and fired by more than one individual acting as a crew;"missile and missile launcher" means—(a)a guided or unguided rockets, ballistic or cruise missiles capable of delivering a warhead or weapon of destruction to a range of at least 25 km; or(b)a device designed or modified specifically for launching missiles or rockets including remotely piloted vehicles with the missiles characteristics capable of delivering a warhead or weapon of destruction to a range of at least 25 km, excluding ground-to-air missiles;"marking" means inscriptions permitting the identification of arms covered by this Act and the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons;"Minister" means the Minister of Internal Affairs."National Register of Arms" means the National Register of Arms referred to in section 19;"other related materials" means all components, parts or spare pans for arms or ammunition necessary for its functioning or any chemical substance serving as active material used as propelling or explosive agent;"public restricted place or private restricted place" means a place prescribed as a private restricted place or public restricted place as the case may be;"re-export" means to send previously imported arms to another state or territory other than that from which they were originally imported;"Registrar" means the Registrar of Arms referred to in section 19; and"small arms" mean arms used by one person and which include firearms and other destructive arms or devices such as an exploding bomb, an incendiary bomb or a gas bomb, a grenade, a rocket launcher, a missile, a missile system or landmine, revolvers and pistols with automatic loading, rifles and carbines, machine guns, assault rifles, light machine guns;"transfer" includes import, export, transit, transshipment and transport or any other movement whatsoever of arms, ammunition and other related materials from, to or through Sierra Leone."transit" means when conventional arms that have been dispatched from their place of export by the exporting state have not yet been received by the importing state;"arms-in-transit" includes arms entering and leaving an intermediary state prior to entering the territory of the recipient state, and typically takes place under the supervision of the intermediate state's customs authority;"transhipment" means the act of transshipment, transfer of conventional arms from the exporting state to the importing state through other destinations, and involves a change or changes in transport type during the transfer process;"warship" means a vessel or submarine armed and equipped for military use with a standard displacement of 500 metric tons or above, and those with a standard displacement of less than 500 metric tons, equipped for launching missiles with a range of at least 25 kilometres or torpedoes with similar range.
2. ApplicationThis Act shall apply to all conventional arms, ammunitions, components and other related materials within the following categories—
Part II – The Sierra Leone National Commission on Arms and Ammunitions
3. The Sierra Leone National Commission on Arms and Ammunitions
4. Appointment of Commissioner and Deputy CommissionerThe Commission shall have a Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner, one of whom shall be female, appointed by the President, from among persons with the professional and other qualifications relevant to the functions of the Commission, subject to the approval of Parliament.
5. Tenure of Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner
6. Functions of Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner
7. Remuneration of Commissioner and Deputy CommissionerThe Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner shall be entitled to such salaries, allowances and other benefits as may be determined by the President subject to the approval of Parliament, but such salaries, allowances and other benefits shall not be varied to their disadvantage.
8. Other staff of Commission
9. Secondment of public officersPublic officers, including officers of the Sierra Leone Police, may at the instance of the Registrar, be seconded or otherwise render assistance to the Registrar, in the performance of his functions under this Act.
10. Consultants and expertsThe Commissioner may, subject to the approval of the Advisory Committee, engage the services of such consultants or experts as it may consider necessary for the proper and efficient performance of the functions of the Commission.
11. Independence of CommissionIn the performance of its functions under this Act, the Commission shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority.
12. Directorates of Commission
13. Regional and district offices of Commission
Part III – Sierra Leone Commission on Arms and Ammunitions Advisory Committee
14. Advisory Committee
Part IV – Financial provisions
15. Funds of Commission
16. Accounts and audit of Commission
17. Financial year of CommissionThe financial year of the Commission shall be the same as the financial year of the Government.
18. Annual report
Part V – Functions of the Commission
19. Functions of Commission
Part VI – National Register of Arms
20. National Register of Arms
21. Collection and destruction of arms
Part VII – Licensing of arms
22. Possession custody or control of arms prohibited
23. Application to own, control or use small arm and light weapon
24. Revocation of licenceThe Commissioner may revoke a licence issued under subsection (3) of section 22 if—
25. Duty to report loss of licenceWhere a licence issued under this Act is lost or stolen, the holder of the licence shall inform the Commissioner and report to the nearest police station of such loss or theft within 7 days of the discovery of the loss or theft.
26. Replacement of licenceThe Commissioner may, after being satisfied as to the loss, destruction or misplacement of a licence issued to an applicant under subsection (3) of section 22, issue another licence, subject to such terms and conditions as may be prescribed in replacement thereof, upon the payment of the prescribed fee.
27. Deposit of arm to National Arms Registry
Part VIII – Transfer of arms from, to or through Sierra Leone
28. Licence to transfer arm from, to or through Sierra Leone
29. Restriction on issue of licence to transfer armNotwithstanding subsection (3) of section 27, the Commissioner shall not issue a licence to transfer arms or their manufacturing materials from, to or through Sierra Leone unless—
30. Refusal of application to transfer arm
Part IX – Manufacture and sale of arms within Sierra Leone
32. Licence to manufacture or sell arm within Sierra Leone
33. Refusal of application to manufacture
34. Revocation of licenceThe Commissioner may in his discretion revoke a manufacturer's licence granted under this Act if—
35. Marking of armsA manufacturer shall, for identification purposes, assign a unique and specific marking on all arms, their ammunition and other materials in such manner as may be prescribed, including the following—
36. Marking of ammunitionA manufacturer shall, for identification purposes, assign a unique and specific marking on all ammunition or explosives, a unique lot number expressed alphanumerically, including the manufacturer's identity and year of manufacture, information on the purchaser's identity and the country of destination, featured at least once on the jacket or cartridge containing the powder or liquid used in the ammunition or explosive in such manner as may be prescribed.
37. ObliterationA person shall not wilfully obliterate, deface, alter, counterfeit or forge a mark which is used for the identification of arms by the manufacturer or dealer or by which arms may be identified in accordance with a licence issued under this Act.
38. Manufacturer to keep recordA licenced manufacturer shall keep books and records in such manner and containing such particulars as may be prescribed by the Registrar and shall on demand produce the same for inspection.
Part X – Miscellaneous
40. Repeal and saving
History of this document
19 June 2023 this version
02 May 2023