More than 2000 firearms have been surrendered to police stations across the country since the amnesty began in December. File photo: Supplied/Hawks
More than 2000 firearms have been surrendered to police stations across the country since the amnesty began in December. File photo: Supplied/Hawks

Over 2000 guns surrendered to police stations since amnesty began

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Jan 16, 2020

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Cape Town - More than 2000 firearms have been surrendered to police stations across the country since the amnesty began in December, with Gauteng and the Western Cape leading the pack with more than 500 firearms surrendered in each province.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said the amnesty would end on May 31.

“The declaration of this amnesty period is in the interest of the public and I believe it will make a dent in dealing decisively with the excess of illegal firearms and unwanted firearms that end up in the wrong hands.”

Cele said Gauteng led with 527 firearms surrendered, followed by the Western Cape with 514, and KwaZulu- Natal with 309. He said a total of 31382 rounds of ammunition were now in police hands.

“The police will continue to rid our communities of dangerous arms, while responding positively towards our service delivery agreement of ensuring that the people of South Africa are, and feel, safe,” Cele said.

According to Gun Free SA director Adèle Kirsten: “SA’s experience of holding amnesties confirms they are effective at recovering guns, including unwanted, unlawful and illegal guns.”

Kirsten said more than 120000 firearms and 1.8 million rounds of ammunition had been recovered in South Africa’s past three amnesties.

“The biggest source of illegal guns is civilians whose guns are lost or stolen. Cele’s answering affidavit shows that in 2018/19, 9609 firearms were reported as lost or stolen nationally of which 607 (6.3%) were acquired and owned by the police. The remaining 9000 firearms were lost/stolen from civilians,” she said.

Kirsten called on all gun owners to aim for safety and hand in their guns during the amnesty.

Gun Owners of SA spokesperson Tim Flack said the minister had declared war on gun owners by saying he would rather not have guns.

“As gun owners, it’s on; if he wants a fight, he will get one,” Flack said.

DA spokesperson on police, Andrew Whitfield, said the Firearms Control Act allowed individuals to own more than one firearm for specific purposes and set out the relevant requirements.

@SISONKE_MD

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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