By Minah Nalule

Police have so far fingerprinted 57,171 firearms in an ongoing exercise that is expected to cover the whole country. The registration is expected to be close by the end of January 2020.

Police spokesman Fred Enanga said fingerprinting of guns has effectively narrowed down on incidents of insecurity involving shootings in Uganda.

Speaking to journalists in Kampala on Monday, police spokesman Fred Enanga said the 57,171 firearms have been registered in KMP, Katonga, Wamala, Rwenzori West, Greater Masaka, Rwizi, Kigezi, Rwenzori East, 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 is targeting Police, Prisons, Private Security Organizations, Individual civilians and LDUs.

According to Enanga, each firearm tested, leaves a unique marking on the shell casing.

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.

Enanga noted 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.

He said the exercise is continuing and will be concluded within the next two months. The task team will then embark on firearms under the military.