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Gun control: ‘Draconian’ Firearms Control Amendment Bill angers DA

the latest draft of the Firearms Control Amendment Bill has omitted the criteria for ‘self-defence’ as a valid reason to own a gun.

gun laws firearms bill

Image via: good free photos

The latest draft for the updated Firearms Control Amendment Bill has angered the Democratic Alliance (DA), with the opposition party furious about the removal of the “self-defence” criterion as reason to lawfully own a weapon

The DA insist that spiralling crime rates necessitate that the Bill be more accessible to ordinary citizens living in fear, and have called on South African citizens to submit comments as the draft legislation endures public scrutiny. 

DA call for public to intervene  

In a statement released on Sunday, the DA’s Shadow Minister for Police, Andrew Whitfield, said that the draft Firearms control Bill is “concerning”. 

“The DA has noted with concern the contents of the draft Firearms Control Amendment Bill, particularly the removal of ‘self-defence’ as a reason to possess a firearm. We will be vehemently opposing this and other elements of the bill when it comes to Parliament,” he said. 

“Should Minister of Police Bheki Cele succeed with this draconian legislation it will be a victory for the criminals who already enjoy a licence to commit violent crime. It will remove the last line of defence for millions of law-abiding South Africans.”

Whitfield called on South Africans who share these concerns to urgently submit their comments on the draft amendment bill to the Civilian Secretariat for Police within 45 days of publication of the notice published on 21 May 2021.

Crime rate soars as Firearms Bill questioned  

Whitfield said that “rising rates of violent crime, together with outrageous budget cuts to the South African Police Service (SAPS)” have left millions of South Africans more vulnerable than ever before. 

“The SAPS is in a state of disarray as can be seen by the chaos at the Central Firearms Registry and the backlog in DNA case exhibits,” he said. 

He said that in the first quarter of 2021, nearly 5 000 people were murdered in South Africa while there were 4 500 cases of attempted murder. He said that this has happened all the while the ANC are offering their support to a R26 million increase to the VIP protection unit while also they supporting the slashing of the crime prevention budget by R3.8 Billion. 

“This effectively means more guns to protect VIPs and less boots on the ground to protect ordinary South Africans,” said Whitfield. “Defunding the police and disarming law-abiding citizens in this environment is reckless and will place the lives of many more South Africans at risk.”

“Minister Cele has made his views on gun ownership crystal clear on more than one occasion. He wants to disarm law-abiding citizens while his very own SAPS ‘loses’ hundreds of its own firearms into criminal hands every year.”