POLICE in Muden have appealed to the public who are in possession of illegal firearms to return them to the police before May 31. Spokesperson for Muden SAPS Constable Zandile Mkhize said there were other residents who have returned the firearms to the police station. “We encourage other members who have not returned their firearms to the station to do so immediately before May 31. Other gun owners have already heeded the call and returned their firearms to out police station,” Mkhize said. The crime statistics released last year showed an increase of possession of unlicensed firearms in the Muden area from 2018 to 2019. In 2019, six cases of possession on unlicensed firearm and ammunition were reported to the Muden SAPS. However, in 2019 there was an increase of possession of firearms and ammunition with 13 cases reported. The firearm amnesty period of six months commenced last year December 1 after the Police Minister Bheki Cele announced that the period will run from December until May 31. According to the SAPS website, the amnesty period creates an opportunity for members of the public to surrender unwanted firearms or firearms they possess illegally, as well as ammunition or firearm parts to the police without fear of being prosecuted for the unlawful possession of this equipment. The objectives of the amnesty period are to reduce the large pool of illegal/unwanted firearms, ammunition and/or firearm parts that are in circulation in the country.A person who surrenders his/her firearm during the period of amnesty, will be required to complete and sign the necessary forms at the nearest police station, and must insist on a copy of the SAPS 548 (Amnesty form). An application contemplated in section 139(4)(a) shall not apply to illegal firearms where documentary proof of previous ownership cannot be produced.A person who applies for a firearm licence as indicated above, must comply with the provisions of the Act applicable to the licensing of a firearm, which includes the following:• The limitation on the number of firearms for different categories a person may legally possess• The applicant must be in possession of a valid competency certificate for the firearm for which a licence is applied for• A person who applies for a firearm licence is required to physically hand in the firearm to the Designated Amnesty Official, and lodge an application within 14 days.Only the person who physically surrenders the firearm to the Designated Amnesty Official personally may apply for a licence in respect of such.The application for the firearm licence must be submitted to the relevant Designated Amnesty Official responsible for the area in which the applicant resides, and must comply with the following:• A certified copy of the applicant’s competency certificate (if already issued).• In cases where the applicant does not possess a competency certificate, he/she must apply for a competency certificate in accordance with the provisions of theFirearms Control Act.• Complete form 271 on which the applicant has indicated his/her intention to apply for the specific firearm licence. The application for a firearm licence will only be accepted by the Designated Amnesty Official on condition that it is in compliance with the provisions of the Firearms Control Act.• Provide a comprehensive motivation to support the need for the firearm licence, preferably in the form of a statement under oath or affirmation.• Provide a certified copy of the legal firearm licence, permit or authorisation applicable to the specific firearm (if applicable).For more information contact the nearest police station or Central Firearms Register call centre on 012 353 6111 or report corruption at 0800 701 701.