The amnesty period for illegal firearm owners, granting these owners a 6-month period to surrender their firearms, will soon come to an end. The amnesty period commenced on the 1st of August 2020 and ends this coming Sunday, the 31st of January 2021. A previous amnesty period was approved by Parliament for December 2019 until May 2020. However, COVID-19 hindered the first amnesty period, hence the need for a new amnesty period. Despite the first amnesty period being hampered, a staggering 46 714 firearms were handed to the police.
Police spokesperson, Colonel Brenda Muridili, remarked that the number of illegal firearms would have exceeded the resounding firearms already in the police’s possession, had it not been for COVID-19’s interruption. Moreover, she stated that according to recent South African crime statistics, the use of firearms is a favoured approach in the commission of a crime. Therefore, the amnesty period is implemented to encourage the public to come forward, to take advantage of this period to either surrender their firearms for destruction or to obtain a valid license and a competency certificate.
The authorities encourage the public to relinquish their illegal firearms and ammunition. Consequently, no prosecution will occur as a result of the illegal possession of firearms or any unwanted firearms. Authorities will also provide illegal firearm owners the opportunity to reapply for any expired firearm licenses. The aim thereof is to ensure public safety by curbing the circulation of illicit firearms in the country in order to prevent crime and violence, and to protect our communities in South Africa.
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Article written by Demi-Lee Hendrikse, candidate attorney at Faure & Faure Inc. For more information email email@example.com or phone 021 871 1200.