Parliament has approved a new Firearm Amnesty period for the next six months, which allows time for those illegally in possession of a firearm and ammunition to surrender it to the police.

This period will run from August 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021.

Within the last Amnesty period, which ran from December 2019 to May 2020, 46 714 firearms were surrendered to the police. In a statement, the South African Police Service (SAPS ) said this number would have been higher if not for the lockdown and the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic.

“The restrictions of Levels 5 and 4 somewhat prevented people from turning in illegal as well as their unlicensed and unwanted firearms and ammunition,” explains Colonel Brenda Muridili.

“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 2020 which now allows all persons with illegal or unwanted firearms as well as ammunition to hand them in at their nearest police station.

“We are urging people to take advantage of this period either to hand in those firearms and ammunition either for destruction or renewal of a competency certificate and a valid licence,” adds SAPS.

No indemnity will be granted for firearms used to commit any crime. All firearms that have been handed in will undergo ballistic testing to ensure that they have not been used in the commission of any crimes, before they can be considered for destruction.

The aim of this amnesty period is to reduce the number of illegal firearms and thus further prevent crime and promote safety.

According to the most recent National Crime Statistics, guns are the preferred weapon for violent crime. Reducing the circulation of firearms may potentially reduce the scourge of violent crimes quite significantly.

For Firearm Amnesty enquiries, please contact FLASH Call Center at ‪012 353 6111 or email on [email protected].

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