A leading gun ownership group in South Africa have reacted with concern after they claimed to have seen a draft amendment proposal to the Firearms Control Act.
DA Member of Parliament Dianne Kohler Barnard also confirmed she’d seen leaked pages of the bill before it could make it to Parliament.
Organisations such as Gun Owners SA (GOSA) believe that what they’ve seen would be extremely harmful to their self-defence rights. There is a section of the documents which suggests sections 13 and 14 should be omitted from the new gun ownership laws, and that isn’t sitting well…
As media liaison for GOSA Tim Flack explained to us, this is the legislation that allows citizens to own a gun on the basis of self-defence. According to Tim, cutting these sections would invalidate “protection” as a legal reason to possess a firearm.
“Thankfully, the draft legislation has not been submitted yet. Somewhere along the line, it got nipped in the bud and was leaked by someone in SAPS. When you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns, and in a country that is one of the most homicidal in the world, we need protection” – Tim Flack.
The group also issued a statement on Wednesday, criticising the “hidden” proposals in their entirety.
“The major concern we have is the right to life of law-abiding citizens. Crime is escalating at an alarming rate, whereby the criminals perpetrating these crimes are becoming increasingly violent.”
“Taking away a means to effectively defend oneself will see to an increase in violent crimes committed against all South Africans, this cannot be allowed to happen.”
As well as self-defence rights, the alleged amendments were also flagged for being “intrusive, restrictive and ineffective”. Paul Oxley, the GOSA chairperson, stated that gun users will have to obtain medical certificates for applications if this bill sees the light of day.
Oxley also bemoaned what appeared to be the suggested establishment of a ballistics database to keep track of both firearms and ammunition. Our efforts to contact Parliament have not yet yielded a response, but we will update this article when we hear the National Assembly’s side of the story.