Gun shops out of ammunition as residents fear looting will spill over to the Western Cape
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Cape Town - Cape Town arms and ammunition shops have seen an influx of patrons who want to protect themselves, in case the looting that started in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng comes to the Cape.
Parow Arms & Ammo owner Thomas Serreira said they have seen an increase in demand for some of the products they are selling.
He said customers coming in his shop are not necessarily buying guns, because most of them own them already, but most are coming in for ammunition.
“It is an ammunition rush, people are coming in to stock up on ammunition and we have run out, like most stores in Cape Town,” he said.
He said the rush is related to the looting that has been happening in KZN and Gauteng, and also the recent taxi violence in the city.
He added that everyone has a right to protect themselves, their family and property.
Since Tuesday Blades and Triggers in Canal Walk, a self-defence store selling items including paintball guns, paintball equipment, self-defense rifles and airguns, has also seen long queues of people who were out to buy weapons to protect themselves.
Milnerton Shooting Association member Ludi Starke said at the moment it is easy for anyone to get an Airgun because some of them do not need a licence.
He said that is why a lot of the shops selling such guns have seen a lot of people lately, amid the looting incidents happening in KZN and Gauteng.
“People want to protect themselves and their properties because they know police are not able to do that,” he said.
Starke said it is even worse because Police Minister Bheki Cele is taking away people’s weapons and making it hard to obtain a firearm licence.
Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said the reason people are out there shopping for guns is because they are panicking.
He said, as much as the city has a contingency plan in place in case looting affects the city, the concern people have is legitimate.
Smith said they can’t tell people that arming themselves is not justified because it is hard.
“We are saying to people that they must not panic because we have a handle on everything and, so far, there have not been reports of looting – apart from an attempt in Khayelitsha last night,” he said.
Smith urged people to stop circulating false images, videos and voice notes about looting in the city because it is causing more panic.