Gun amnesty slammed for removing protection

2010-02-04 00:00

GUN Owners of South Africa (Gosa) have lambasted the Firearm Control Act which allows for the return of unwanted weapons, saying it is a ploy to intimidate senior citizens into giving up their only means of protection.

Under the Firearms Control Act, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa recently announced a second amnesty period — from January 11 to April 11 — for the return of unlicensed and unwanted firearms

Provincial police spokesman Vincent Mdunge said the process is voluntary, and all those who do not want their guns are free to hand them in. He said, however, that people who keep their guns and use them for illegal activities will be prosecuted.

However, Gosa said in a statement that the amnesty under the Act is a ploy to strip many of the senior citizens of their rights to own firearms.

Brett Nortje of Gosa questioned the relevance of the Act as he believes that it does not fulfil its mandate.

“The Firearms Control Act has no anti-crime benefit. It actually increases crime by diverting scarce police manpower into policing honest citizens.

“The firearm amnesty should be seen for what it is — a diversion of attention from the SAPS’s inability to do its duty under the Constitution — to suppress crime.”

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