Communities stand up against gun violence

2018-06-14 06:02
PHOTOS: supplied Halfway Ford show their support for the gun violence prevention initiative.

PHOTOS: supplied Halfway Ford show their support for the gun violence prevention initiative.

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During the past week, KwaZulu Natal took a stand against gun violence following the death of a nine-year-old girl, Sadia, who was shot dead during a hijacking that took place in Durban.

The #StandUpForSadia campaign, initiated by East Coast Radio, saw community members from all corners of the province wear orange in support of the gun violence prevention movement.

Schools, businesses and various institutions all over the South Coast participated in the campaign. Among the supporters was Port Shepstone Junior Primary, who emphasised that the campaign highlighted the frivolous daily loss of lives to gun violence.

According to police, the majority of gun-related crimes stem from the illegal possession of unlicensed firearms. This is primarily due to the fact that gun licensing is such an intensive process that is often bypassed in order for guns to be administered, often to common criminals.

When applying for an gun licence, intensive training is required and competency approvals and background checks are performed before a license can be approved. Ammunition use is supposed to be used as a form of monitored defence. Lawful gun owners who fail to comply with the regulations of the Firearms Control Act, 2000(Act No 60 of 2000) can also be reported, traders and those who are in possession of illegal firearms can be reported anonymously through Crime Line at 08600 10111.

Port Shepstone SAPS spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Zandra Wiid, said the police had several cases where perpetrators point firearms at each other when they are involved in arguments.

Apart from house and business robberies, a couple of cases were also reported where guns were used in a domestic relationship where the victim was shot and wounded or killed, she said.

“When arrests are made in these cases, and the perpetrator is a license holder for a firearm, the gun is immediately confiscated and an investigation initiated in order to declare the person unfit to possess a firearm,” said Wiid

Wiid said that, during special operations, police also target persons for being in possession of firearms and ammunition without firearm licenses and that they are charged criminally for such offences.

Gun owners who do not safeguard their firearms, causing them to fall in the wrong hands, are also being charged.

“We urge the community to come forward with information regarding unlicensed firearms and ammunition as anyone can become a victim of a crime where guns are being used. Children should be taught not to touch firearms, but to report it to an adult or the police immediately,” said Wiid.

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