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Parliament - Some opposition parties have on Thursday, rejected a "leaked" draft  Firearms Control Bill released by Gun Owners South Africa which will reportedly outlaw owning a gun for self-defence purposes.

The police ministry and SA Police Service has neither confirmed or denied the existence of the draft bill and Parliament's police portfolio committee earlier said the document had not been tabled in the legislature.

African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe in a statement said while his party appreciated government's efforts to restrict the use of firearms by irresponsible people, "the right to self-defence is sacrosanct".

“With 50 to 60 murders a day in our country, or 20 000 a year, this does not paint a picture of a civilised society in a time of peace, and is an extra reason not to restrict firearm licences. Licences already control ownership," said Meshoe.

The Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) said the added restrictions contained in the leaked document would promote crime.

"If the government cannot protect you, then you have the right to protect yourself and your family by all possible means, including owning a firearm for the sake of self-defence. It is also a common law right for all," said FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald.

 "The disarming of the citizenry will benefit criminals and promote crime, which will increase dramatically as a result."

African News Agency (ANA)