All civilian firearm holders have until March 19 to get biometric cards, the government has announced.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said on Monday that the card fixed with a microchip will have all of an individual’s details.

“We want everyone registered by March 18. By 19th, everyone holding a gun must have this card,” Dr Matiang’i said during a security meeting with police commanders at Flamingo Hotel in Mombasa.

The minister explained that the move is aimed at curbing crimes that involve use of these weapons.

“We are not going back on this programme. We understand a group has moved to court to fight this. We will deal with that when we get to March 19,” he said.

Regarding the court action by the National Gun Owners Association of Kenya, the CS said, “The others who are not members of NGAO have no problem. I do not know what their problem is with this programme.”

Dr Matiang’i noted that police have had a difficult time tracing guns used in crimes so the government must show commitment in dealing with the matter.

“Police commanders know the pinch that we have felt. We have been collecting cartridges but gun tracing has been difficult. We are committed to fighting crime,” he said.

He added that for the government to have a proper record firearm holders, all police reservists will be registered.

“Police commanders must ensure that NPRs and KPRs are registered with used,” he said.