saps shootout

Guns mec Albert Fritz calss for radical approach to illegal firearms. Photo:

MEC Fritz calls for a rowdy approach to illegal firearms

South Africa is listed number 20 globally for illegal firearms.

saps shootout

Guns mec Albert Fritz calss for radical approach to illegal firearms. Photo:

Illegal guns sit at the heart of gang-related murders in Cape Town; and the Department of Community Safety has scrutinised the deadly effects of the illegal possession and distribution of guns in the city. The department is calling for a rowdy approach in dealing with this epidemic.

5.4 million South Africans have guns

Globally, South Africa is ranking at number 20 in the list of civilian held legal and illicit firearms. It is reported that there are approximately 5.4 million South Africans who have guns in their possession, but only three million of these firearms are licenced.

The real cause in the increase of gun violence in South Africa stems from the 9855 guns that are either lost or stolen each year.

“South Africa arguably has amongst the most stringent gun laws in the world. The Firearms Control Act (No. 60 of 2000) governs and regulates firearms in the country and is administered by SAPS’ Central Firearm Register. It deals with the management, control, monitoring and enforcement of legislation that relates to the control of firearms. The Act guides the process followed to own a gun, licensing, training (competency certificate), storage and safe keeping, licence renewal and associated accountability.”

MEC Albert Fritz, Department of Community Safety

How do illegal guns get in the country?

  • Legal guns are smuggled to and from neighbouring countries.
  • Fraud, corruption and poor enforcement of the Firearms Control Act.
  • Loss and theft of firearms from civilians and state institutions.

South African Police Services can assess the firearm to see if they are linked to any particular crime through ballistic testing, through this convictions can be made.

“Bullets from crime scenes are therefore linked to the unique print on the barrel before SAPS Ballistics can declare a positive link between a crime committed and the firearm used.”

MEC Albert Fritz, Department of Community Safety

What is the resolution?

The Department of Community Safety has recommended the following solutions to kill the distribution and possession of illegal firearms:

  • SAPS should tighten the sale of ammunition and cartridges from dealers and manufacturers and better comply with the Act in terms of keeping a record of everything.
  • In the medium-term, it is necessary to develop an electronic system linked to the Central Firearm Register and the Minster of Community Safety for oversight purposes.
  • In the long-term, it is necessary to develop a Provincial Firearm and Ammunition Control Act thus affording each province a role to interrupt and disrupt the circulation of firearm ammunition.