Legislature expands scope of Small Arms Commission
By Bridgett Milton
The House of Representatives has concurred with the Liberian Senate to pass into law amendments to the Act establishing the Liberia National Commission on small arms.
The concurrence by both Houses expands the scope of the Commission beyond Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW).
The Liberian Senate passed an Engrossed Bill #10, Entitled, An Act To Establish The Liberia National Commission On Arms to ensure that the Government of Liberia is in full compliance with the UN Arms Trade Treaty.
It aims to further restore confidence in the integrity of the Government of Liberia to administer the trade, transfer, brokerage, use, manufacturing and possession of conventional arms fairly and transparently.
This includes small arms, light weapons, ammunition and other related materials.
According to a joint committee from the House of Representatives, the enactment of the Act establishing the Liberia National Commission on Arms will set the pace for Liberia to continue its leading role in regulating the trade, transfer, possession and use of conventional arms including small arms and light weapons.
The committee said this will make Liberia the third country within West Africa after Burkina Faso and Niger, to establish a national competent authority in keeping with the provisions of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).
It will also attract additional support to the Government of Liberia through the Arms Commission to regulate conventional arms in all aspects.
The Joint Committee on National Security, Judiciary, and Defense added that the establishment of the Arms Commission as the national point of contact/competent authority will ensure the Government of Liberia’s full implementation of the ATT.
The ATT is the only binding UN Treaty on Conventional Arms.
It will further restore confidence in the integrity of the Government of Liberia to administer the trade, transfer, brokerage, use, manufacturing and possession of conventional arms fairly and transparently in all aspects. –Edited by Winston W. Parley