Re-examine gun laws - Zuma

2009-10-25 22:00

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has raised concerns about current guns laws, saying there were too many guns in South Africa, SABC News reported on Sunday.

"This country which has such a high level of violent crime, has too many guns in the hands of the citizens," he said at a rally outside Tzaneen in Limpopo.

"We need to look at the law, whether we should all have guns."

Zuma said even people who had legal firearms could have them stolen by criminals.

"They [criminals] even take them from the police. So having guns so much (sic), we are actually helping arm the criminals," said Zuma.

The President also called on police to "act accordingly" when criminals point guns at them.

"My view, which I'm going to canvass to everybody, is that once a criminal takes out a gun the intention is simple: It is not to warn you. It is to shoot you," he said.

"So once a criminal takes out a gun, the police must know that their lives are in danger and they must act according."

National police chief Bheki Cele is on record as saying police should not die with their guns in their pockets, but instead "shoot to kill at criminals".

Zuma has also previously expressed support for a change in the law to allow police greater latitude to shoot in dangerous situations.