After being stalled for months, the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has finally taken the responsibility of registration and scrutiny of all outlets in the province that deal in the repair of firearms.
The procedure was finalized after the agency received the provincial Home Department’s blessings this month. According to the details available with the Express Tribune, the dealers listed in the records maintained by the deputy commissioners will be permitted to renew their license from NADRA in the first phase. Once the required information is received by the national database authority, it will then be sent to the concerned deputy commissioner’s office for verification.
After the verification process is completed, the computerized registration and biometric data of the arms repair outlets will be recorded. In addition, the national database authority has also developed a software that will allow the agency to monitor and track the sales of firearms in the province. Under the pilot project, dedicated terminals will be provided to five dealers.
These computer terminals will be connected with the provincial Home Department and NADRA. All sales will be registered and documented through these systems.
Officials familiar with the project said the details of this process are being closely examined by provincial Home Department and NADRA.
Officials said the process has been simplified. The arms dealer will be required to submit an affidavit.
Once the affidavit is submitted, the data will be sent to NADRA and the concerned Deputy Commissioner’s office for verification. After the data is verified by both offices, the license will be processed.
According to sources within NADRA, the agency has completed the registration and scrutiny of 350 arms dealers in Punjab.
The database authority is hoping to complete the process for the remaining 200 arms dealers over the next few weeks.
According to sources, the new registration software and verification process is likely to catch all unauthorised dealers, who continue to sell weapons without a license. “After the new systems are installed and connected with the Home Department, the sale of arms will be accurately documented,” said one official.
The unauthorised sale of weapons is an important issue. The provincial government plans to curb the flow of weapons through such channels. Last year’s surprise raids across the province revealed a significant number of dealers were operating without the required authorization. Shortly after the raids, the Punjab
Home Department halted the renewal of licenses for weapons dealers and repair outlets.
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