THE Brong Ahafo regional branch of the Blacksmiths Association has called for the withdrawal of licenses for the repair of guns granted to blacksmiths in the country to check the local manufacturing of guns and small arms.
According to the association, the call had become imperative to ensure that no blacksmith manufactured guns.
The association also pledged to set up a task force to monitor the activities of its members and handover deviants to the law enforcement agencies for prosecution since the association was aware of the ban on the manufacturing of guns and small arms.
It further pledged to operate within the confines of the law and therefore urged the government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to take a critical study of the industry in order to revive it and thus provide the needed incentives as well as support to move it in a positive direction to meet the industrial needs of the country within modern international standards.
A consultant for the association, Mr Michael Mensah made the call at a news conference in Sunyani.
The news conference was part of the association’s advocacy action to create an enabling environment for their business in view of the continuous harassment of their members by personnel of the various security agencies.
It coincided with an exhibition to showcase the huge potential of the industry and thereby seek the support, patronage of the public sector and other industries in their endeavours.
Mr Mensah said the major constraint facing the industry was that blacksmiths operated under constant fear of arrest by the security agencies because of the suspicion that they manufacture guns and small arms although most of them have licenses to repair guns.
He said due to that situation, the efforts by members of the association to produce agricultural implements and other metal products for industries, especially for the transport and health industries, had been hampered.
Mr Mensah, therefore, called on the law enforcement agencies and for that matter, the Ghana National Commission on Small Arms and other agencies to work hand-in-hand with the association in the region to ensure that other blacksmiths who were not members of the association, operated within the law.