To curb gun violence in South Africa, the Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele, declared a Firearm Amnesty for six months, allowing people to hand in any firearm in their possession to the SAPS.
But what does the Firearm Amnesty entail?
In a statement issued by Newcastle SAPS Corporate Communications, Captain Jabulani Ncube explains firearm amnesty means an indemnity against prosecution for the unlawful possession of a firearm or ammunition.
The firearm amnesty period provides an opportunity for members of the public to surrender unwanted firearms and ammunition, firearms possessed unlawfully, as well as firearm parts to the SAPS without fear of facing prosecution.
When was the Firearm Amnesty period officially declared?
The firearm amnesty period was declared by the Minister of Police by publication in the Government Gazette on 27 November 2019, and it commenced on 1 December 2019 and will end on 31 May 2020.
What exactly can be surrendered during the Firearm Amnesty period?
- Firearms that people unlawfully have in their possession,
- Unwanted firearms, unregistered firearms,
- Firearm parts and ammunition.
What classifies as an unwanted firearm?
This relates to firearms –
- That are lawfully in someone’s possession, but that their owners no longer need or require
- That are unsafe to use, or are in a poor state
- That were inherited from a deceased person, and such person is not interested in keeping it
- That were left behind by the previous owner of the property and were found on such property.
What is an illegal firearm?
Any firearm or firearm part(s), which the owner does not have the necessary license in accordance with the Firearms Control Act, 2000 (Act No 60 of 2000), is an illegal firearm.
An illegal firearm includes a firearm, or firearm part(s), that –
- Is not registered to the current owner
- Does not have a serial number or has a defaced (removed) serial number
- Is possessed by a person who does not have a licence for that firearm.
How does one surrender an unwanted firearm, illegal firearm, firearm parts or ammunition?
Visit your local police station between 08:00 and 16:00
While the SAPS encourages South Africans to participate in the Firearm Amnesty, do you feel this will help resolve gun violence? Do you feel that handing over a firearm will play a role in ensuring South Africa is safer?
Share your views and thoughts with us in the comment section below.