UNMIK/REG/2001/7

21 February 2001

REGULATIONS no. 2001/7

ON THE AUTHORIZATION OF POSSESSION OF WEAPONS IN KOSOVO

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General,

Pursuant to the authority given to him under United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) of 10 June 1999,

Taking into account United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) Regulation No. 1999/1 of 25 July 1999, as amended, on the Authority of the Interim Administration in Kosovo, UNMIK Regulation No. 1999/8 of 20 September 1999 on the Establishment of the Kosovo Protection Corps and UNMIK Regulation No. 2000/33 of 25 May 2000 on Licensing of Security Service Providers in Kosovo and the Regulation of their Employees,

For the purpose of controlling the ownership, control, possession and use of weapons in order to enhance public peace, safety and order in Kosovo,

Hereby promulgates the following:


Section 1
Definitions

For the purposes of the present regulation:

(a) "authorized weapon" means a weapon for which a weapon authorization card has been issued by UNMIK Police;

(b) "KFOR authorized weapon" means a weapon in the possession of a KPC member for which a weapon authorization card has been issued by KFOR;

(c) "vulnerable person" means a person who is assessed by the Threat Assessment Committee as being subject to a risk or threat and therefore eligible for the issuance of a weapon authorization card  for the possession of a weapon in respect of himself or herself and or in respect of persons registered with UNMIK Police as his or her bodyguards;

(d) "bodyguard" means any person recognized by UNMIK Police as such for the protection of a vulnerable person;
 
(e) "the Threat Assessment Committee", hereinafter "the TAC", is the committee established by the UNMIK Police Commissioner to review applications for weapon authorization cards and carry out risk, threat and security assessments in relation to vulnerable persons;

(f) "weapon" means an instrument designed or used or usable for inflicting bodily harm. It shall include, but not be limited to, all forms of ammunition, crossbows, bows and arrows, pepper spray, CS gas, blank firing weapons, replica weapons, stun guns, tasers and all categories of weapons set out in Schedule A annexed to the present regulation or similar weapons;

(g) "weapon authorization card", hereinafter "WAC", means a non-transferable card that authorizes the holder of the card to carry an authorized weapon at all times;

(h) "law enforcement authority" means the Civilian Police of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo, also known as the United Nations International Police or as UNMIK Police, and the international security presence in Kosovo, known as KFOR ; and

(i) "the Kosovo Protection Corps", hereinafter "the KPC", is the body established under UNMIK Regulation No. 1999/8.


Section 2
Authority of UNMIK Police

UNMIK Police, as the sole authority responsible for the authorization of possession of weapons in Kosovo, shall be responsible for the issuance of WACs, except in respect of KFOR authorized weapons. The UNMIK Police Commissioner shall issue administrative instructions and standard operating procedures relating to the issuance of WACs, setting forth the terms and conditions that shall apply to such cards, including the procedure and requirements for application therefor.


Section 3
Issuance of Weapon Authorization Cards

3.1 A person may only lawfully own, control, possess or use a weapon in respect of which a WAC has been issued to him or her.

3.2 A WAC shall only be issued to a vulnerable person exclusively for self-defense and/or to his or her duly registered and approved bodyguards exclusively for the protection of such vulnerable person against the threat or use of deadly force.

3.3 An application by a person for a WAC made on the basis that he or she is a vulnerable person shall be supported by evidence of vulnerability, including, but not limited to, such information as may be contained in police reports and security assessments. The application shall be reviewed by the TAC.

3.4 The TAC shall assess the level of threat posed to the applicant and the level of security, if any, required by the person commensurate with the threat against him or her and shall make a recommendation to the UNMIK Police Commissioner for decision.  A WAC shall be issued to a person who is assessed to be a vulnerable person and/or armed bodyguards for such vulnerable person as authorized by the UNMIK Police Commissioner, based on the recommendation of the TAC.

3.5 An application for a WAC for one or more bodyguards of a vulnerable person may only be processed after a positive assessment of vulnerability and level of protection required of the principal person concerned has been made by the TAC.

3.6 WACs shall be issued for sidearm pistols and, in exceptional circumstances WACs may be issued for short-barreled automatic weapons if, in the particular case, the TAC assesses that there is a need for such weapons. The WAC shall contain a full description of the weapon, including name of manufacturer, model, serial number, as well as other identifying information.

3.7 Ammunition for use with a weapon covered by a WAC may be authorized exclusively by UNMIK Police. Such authorized ammunition shall be standard, full-jacketed, military type ball ammunition which shall not be altered in any way from its original factory configuration. No other type of ammunition, including semi-jacketed, flat-head, hollow-point or others may be authorized.

3.8 An authorized weapon shall be test-fired by UNMIK Police.  The bullets and cartridge casings so fired shall be preserved by law enforcement authorities and identified with the weapon, for the purpose of any further ballistic, criminalistic or forensic testing.

3.9 The UNMIK Police Commissioner may establish fees to be paid in connection with the issuance of WACs, including for weapons testing and safety and security training.

Section 4
Background Checks

 4.1 A WAC shall not be issued to any person who, in the opinion of the UNMIK Police Commissioner, is for any reason considered not suitable to hold a weapon.

4.2 Each applicant for a WAC and any bodyguard who is to receive a WAC shall be subject to an investigation conducted by UNMIK Police and KFOR into his or her suitability to be authorized to hold a weapon.  A background check of the applicant shall include, but not be limited to, investigations of the following:

(a) Criminal history, including any criminal investigation, indictments or convictions;

(b) Record or history of violent behaviour (including domestic violence);

(c) Record of mental health problems affecting the applicant's suitability to hold a weapon;

(d) Police reports of call-outs involving disturbances caused by the applicant or other relevant complaints of disorderly conduct against the applicant; and

(e) Local Authority records concerning history of applicant's confrontation with police.

Section 5
Refusal, Suspension or Revocation of WACs

5.1 The UNMIK Police Commissioner may, in his or her sole discretion, refuse to issue a WAC to an applicant. No reason for refusal need be given to the applicant.

5.2 A WAC remains the property of UNMIK Police and may be suspended or revoked at any time should information become available which, in the opinion of the UNMIK Police Commissioner, affects the suitability of the holder to possess a weapon, or for any other reason.


Section 6
Validity of WACs

6.1 WACs shall remain valid, unless revoked, for the time, not exceeding one year, specified on the WAC, or if no time is specified, for one year from the date of issuance. The holder of a WAC may apply for a new WAC within the final month preceding the date of expiry of the previous one.

6.2 A person who is in possession of an authorized weapon shall carry the WAC at all times while carrying such weapon and shall display the WAC immediately on the demand of a law enforcement officer. If the person is unable or unwilling to display the WAC immediately upon demand the weapon shall be subject to seizure in accordance with section 7 below.

6.3 A person holding a valid WAC shall notify the UNMIK Police Main Headquarters immediately there is any change in the ownership, possession or control of the authorized weapon, at which time the WAC shall be revoked.

6.4 If any person holding a valid WAC wishes to transfer ownership, possession or control of his or her authorized weapon to another person, he or she must first obtain the written permission of the UNMIK Police Commissioner.  In the absence of such authorization, the transfer shall be considered illegal and the person who transferred the weapon and the recipient of the weapon shall be subject to criminal prosecution under section 8 below.

6.5 A vulnerable person to whom a bodyguard holding a valid WAC was assigned shall immediately notify UNMIK police if such bodyguard has ceased to have that status.  The WAC shall have no validity once a bodyguard ceases to have that status and the person concerned shall immediately surrender his or her WAC to UNMIK Police.

Section 7
Seizure of Weapons and/or Weapons Authorization Cards

7.1 Law enforcement authorities may immediately seize any weapon and/or WAC upon the occurrence of any of the following events:

(a) Where a person's WAC is suspended or revoked;

(b) Where a person is in possession of a weapon for which he or she cannot or is unwilling to display a WAC immediately on the demand of a member of a law enforcement authority;
 
(c) Where a person is using a weapon in a threatening, intimidating or otherwise unauthorized manner;

(d) Where there is a grounded suspicion based on information known to law enforcement authorities that a person has committed or is committing an offence against the present regulation or under any other applicable criminal law; or

(e) Where the UNMIK Police Commissioner determines that the authorized weapon is needed for the purpose of forensic, criminalistic or ballistic testing.

7.2 Where a person is in possession of a weapon for which he or she can display a valid WAC immediately on the demand of a member of a law enforcement authority and the person is also in possession of one or more other weapons for which he or she does not possess a valid WAC, all weapons shall be seized by the law enforcement authorities and the WAC(s) shall be seized and revoked with immediate effect.

7.3 Where the law enforcement authorities consider it necessary for any of the above or other reasons to seize a weapon for which a valid WAC is displayed upon demand, the WAC shall also be seized and automatically revoked.

Section 8 
Offences and Penalties

8.1 The present section shall apply equally to authorized weapons and KFOR authorized weapons.

8.2 It shall be a criminal offence for any person to own, control, possess or use a weapon if he or she is not the holder of a valid WAC for that weapon.

8.3 It shall be a criminal offence for any person to use or brandish any weapon in a threatening, intimidating or otherwise unauthorized manner, or to direct an accomplice to do the same.

8.4 It shall be a criminal offence for any person holding a WAC to fail to notify UNMIK Police of any change in the ownership, possession or control of the authorized weapon.

8.5 Any person committing an offence under section 8.3 above shall be liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or a fine of up to 20,000 DM or both. Any WAC issued to that person shall be automatically revoked.

8.6 Any person committing an offence under sections 8.2 and 8.4 above shall be liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 8 years or a fine of up to 15,000 DM or both. Any WAC issued to that person shall be automatically revoked.

8.7 It shall be a criminal offence for any person to provide any false information, either verbally or in writing, at any stage of the application procedure for WAC.

8.8 It shall be a criminal offence for any person to manufacture, possess, sell or purchase a fraudulent WAC.

8.9 Any person committing an offence under sections 8.7 and 8.8 above shall be liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or a fine of up to 10,000 DM or both.  Any WAC issued to that person shall be automatically revoked.

8.10 It shall be a criminal offence for any person issued a WAC to fail to provide to a member of a law enforcement authority immediately upon demand the authorized weapon, or if it is not in his or her possession, to fail to inform such member of a law enforcement authority of its location.

8.11 It shall be a criminal offence for any person holding a WAC to fail to notify UNMIK Police of any change in residence address, which shall be reported to UNMIK Police within 15 days of the change of residence address.

8.12 Any person committing an offence under sections 8.10 and 8.11 above shall be liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or a fine of up to 5,000 DM or both. Any WAC issued to that person shall be automatically revoked.

8.13 The UNMIK Police Commissioner may confiscate without compensation any unauthorized weapon or any authorized weapon used or held in any way not in compliance with the terms and conditions of the WAC. Such confiscated weapon may be destroyed or used by UNMIK Police for police purposes.

Section 9
Implementation

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General may issue administrative directions for the implementation of the present regulation.

Section 10
Scope

The present regulation shall not apply to:

(a) Weapons used by KFOR, authorized United Nations security officers, UNMIK Police, the Kosovo Police Service, the Kosovo Correction Service or legal persons who are international security services providers registered and licensed pursuant to UNMIK Regulation No. 2000/33; or

(b) KFOR authorized weapons, except as provided under sections 7 and 8 above.


Section 11
Hunting and Recreational Weapons

Provisions on the possession of hunting and recreational weapons, as referred to in Schedule A annexed to the present regulation, shall be set out in a separate administrative direction.


Section 12
Applicable Law

The present regulation shall supersede any provision in the applicable law which is inconsistent with it.


Section 13
Entry into Force

The present regulation shall enter into force on 4 June 2001.

 


Hans Haekkerup
Special Representative of the Secretary-General