Following the public’s disapproval of the proposed amendments to the country’s firearm legislation, police minister Bheki Cele indicated that armed citizens won’t solve the country’s high crime rate. This comes after the Firearms Control Amendment Bill was issued in the Government Gazette on Friday, May 21. The proposed draft law indicates that applicants applying for a firearm should provide a valid reason. It also states that no licenses will be issued for self-defence purposes.
In the meantime, the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service (CSP) called on the public’s participation in the proposed changes to SA’s gun laws. The public has until July to comment on the proposal.
The amendments also want to ensure that the SA gun law complies with regional and international instruments on firearms control.
— Gun Free SA (@GunFreeSA) May 25, 2021
However, according to Sowetan Live, the office of Bheki Cele said that around 17,000 comments have been received regarding the proposed changes, as South Africans make their voices heard when it comes to this matter. According to Cele, owning a firearm in the country is a privilege because there is no right in our constitution that says you can bear arms. Cele reiterated that the possession of a firearm can lead to increased rates of gender-based violence (GBV). “This proposed change in law also has the potential to mean the difference between life and death for hundreds of women who are in the clutches of their abusers inside their own homes,” said Cele.
Several civil rights organisations have also joined the conversation against proposed amendments to the country’s firearm legislation. Martin Hoods from The South African Arms and Ammunition Dealers Associations stated that this proposal is going to eliminate the training industry and several other industries because it was not properly thought through, EWN reports.
Meanwhile, as this new law passes, there could be new rules on the amount of ammunition gun owners may hold, along with how many firearms hunters may possess. Anyone charged with domestic violence or harassment will also have their licences revoked.
Some public opinions:
Regulation proposed for the new gun laws is required in certain sectors Not the general public .SA citizens, fight back against this proposed legislation pic.twitter.com/1OqbRX10aP
— silverfox / HJA (@silverfoxWOE) May 24, 2021
The gun violence problem is a lot more than just mass shootings. Texas gun death rate is 12.7 per 100K. Not good but not terrible, but very likely to get much worse now. MA has very strict gun laws; their death rate is 3.4. It’s ok to learn from the states who know.
— James Sayer_The Breakdown (@JamesSa75888275) May 25, 2021
Aaaand SA’s gun nuts are going berserk about a possible change to our gun laws that makes “self defense” not a valid reason to own a gun. Good. I don’t want your unhinged ass able to murder people at will because you feel afraid.
— Danny Day (@dislekcia) May 23, 2021
I’m about to blow your minds black South Africans once I reveal Cyril’s and Beki Cele’s push for implementing stricter gun laws in SA all in an intercontinental attempt to dis arm Africans. This man is out to do more damage than we think.
— Siya (@TheSonOfKemet) May 14, 2021
I’m a south African, my parents are farmers, in SA there are strict gun control laws, but both my parents are armed when home (can’t conceal or open carry in SA). But also note, sa is one of the murder and rape hotspots in the world, why? Because gun laws
— garron hudson (@glhuds) May 17, 2021