429 firearms surrendered

Kathmandu, April 21

In response to a 35-day deadline served by the government to the public to surrender illegal firearms, Nepal Police today said it had received 429 weapons, both small and large, from across the country.

On March 14, the government had set the deadline for the general public to hand over firearms, such as rifles, revolvers and ammunition they possessed illegally, ‘to maintain law and order’. The announcement was made two days after it banned all activities of the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal and labelled it a ‘terrorist outfit’.

Talking to THT, Senior Superintendent of Police Uttam Raj Subedi, who is also the Nepal Police spokesperson, said 429 firearms were submitted to district police offices. The weapons include country-made pistols, revolvers and muskets, besides bullets and other ammunition. The government had promised that anyone who surrendered illegal firearms within the given deadline would not be penalised under the existing Arms and Ammunition Act. The government’s order also applied to licensed arms and ammunition possessed upon the death of a licence holder.

The law has a provision of jail term of up to three years or a fine not exceeding Rs 60,000 or both against a person possessing illegal arms and ammunition. It prohibits manufacture, repair, possession or sale of firearms without a licence. Police said the law enforcement agency would initiate legal action against anyone possessing firearms illegally and for failing to surrender them within the deadline.

“Failure to surrender illegal firearms obtained from the government shall be considered disobedience to the state and the law, and will be dealt with accordingly,” SSP Subedi warned. All police units have been authorised to search for illegal arms and initiate action against the guilty.