NATIONAL NEWS - A new firearm amnesty for six months commenced on 1 August and will last till 31 January 2021. The amnesty was approved by Parliament.
The previous amnesty period, which was also intended for six months between December 2019 and May 2020, was thwarted by the unexpected Covid-19 pandemic. Despite this, the SAPS received a whopping 46 714 firearms.
"However, we believe that there are many more [illegal] firearms out there," said Police Spokesperson, Colonel Brenda Muridili. "We are confident the response to the previous amnesty would have been even more resounding if it were not for the pandemic. The restrictions of levels five and four somewhat prevented people from turning in illegal as well as their unlicensed and unwanted firearms and ammunition."
This had prompted the Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele, to approach Parliament to approve a new application of a six months amnesty period. The approval of the new application has since been published in the Government Gazette on 31 July, which now allows all persons with illegal or unwanted firearms, as well as ammunition, to hand them in at their nearest police station.
Muridili urged people to take advantage of this period, to hand in firearms and ammunition, either for destruction or renewal of a competency certificate and a valid licence.
The latest national crime statistics show that firearms were the preferred weapon in the commission of most of the violent crime. "Reducing the circulation of firearms may potentially reduce the scourge of violent crimes quite significantly," said Muridili.
Muridili says it must be noted that no indemnity will be granted for firearms used to commit any crime. All firearms handed in will undergo ballistic testing to ensure that they were not used in the commission of any crimes before they can be considered for destruction.
For firearm amnesty enquiries, contact FLASH call centre at 012 353 6111 or e-mail email@example.com.
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