Ghana National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons (GNACSA)


1.1 Review of Ghana’s Legislation on Firearms [Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW)]

The Commission is spearheading the review of Ghana’s legislation and regulations on SALW in order to conform to regional and international instruments such as the ECOWAS Convention on SALW, the UN Programme of Action on SALW (UNPoA) and other international best practices and norms. The National Commission is in consultation with the Attorney General’s Department to facilitate the process of reviewing existing policies, laws, acts and regulations governing SALW in Ghana. There have been consultations on the need to enhance legal controls through legislative amendment & harmonization with tighter controls on licensed arms dealers and oversight mechanisms for transfers from entry points to armouries to prevent transit leakages. The review also intends to advocate for stiffer punitive measures and court sentences for violations, limiting the number of guns an individual can legally possess, and some minimum competence training requirements. The scope of the review will include the submission of actionable recommendations for the updating and harmonization of Ghana’s laws to conform to international best practices.


1.2 Training and Capacity-Building

The Commission takes seriously training programmes on SALW. The Commission participates in courses on small arms such as ‘Marking and Tracing, Stockpile and Inventory Management and Border Control Management among others at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre [KAIPTC]. The courses are usually organised for Commissions/Focal points, Implementing Partners and Security Agencies within the ECOWAS sub-region including the Ghana Immigration Service, CEPS and the Ghana Police Service. This is intended to enhance the capacity of the Commission and Security Agencies to be able to deal effectively with the small arms issue.


1.3 International Knowledge Sharing and Learning Programme

The Commission undertakes international knowledge sharing and learning programmes on Small Arms Control, Border Management, Alternative Livelihood Schemes, Stockpile Management, etc. For instance, members and staff of the Commission have embarked on such programme in the Republic of South Africa (2007), the United States of America (2009) and Brazil (2010. Lessons learnt in small arms control measures in these countries, suitable to the Ghana situation, would be adopted to strengthen regulations on firearms. The Commission would also incorporate lessons learnt for the intended policy and legislation review on SALW. Representatives of Security Agencies are also expected to utilise relevant information gathered on Community Policing, etc during such visits.


1.4 Development of a Strategic Resource Mobilisation Document

With funding from ECOSAP, the Commission has developed a Strategic Resource Mobilisation Document to explore areas of support for the Commission. This is to assist in the mobilization of funds to implement activities and programmes in the fight against illicit proliferation of small arms.


1.5 Ratification of Conventions/Treaties on Small Arms and Light Weapons

The Commission is mandated to advise Government on treaties on SALW and related issues and facilitate their ratification as well as the implementation of the provisions of these international instruments. For instance, the Commission facilitated the ratification of the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons and the UN Convention on Cluster Munitions through presentations and consultations with the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and Interior. This resulted in the ratification of the two (2) Conventions in March and August 2010 respectively.