South Africans will now not be able to apply for a firearm licence if it is for self-defence reasons. This follows a legislative proposal that was formally revived on Friday, May 21. According to the Business Insider South Africa, the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service (CSP) asked the public to comment on the 2021 draft of the Firearms Control Amendment Bill in the Governments Gazette.
The 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. The government contemplated something like this a few years ago, but it never materialized. The previous version of the Firearms Control Amendment was put out for public comment in 2015 but went through an extensive process of consultation which never formally made it into the public domain.
However, the 2021 draft of the law contains numerous provisions to restrict firearms in private possession, many of which overlap with the 2015 bill. Meanwhile, one Twitter user by the name of @ZengFuey raised a question to Parliament regarding what constitutes a more valid reason but self-defence?
Dear Civilian Secretariat for Police Service c/o @ParliamentofRSA what constitute a more valid reason, but self defense?
The @SAPoliceService can’t even administrate their forensic services to save our lives. We have communities turned barbarians meting out “justice”a https://t.co/PFha34ikac
— Spiritual Wonder Bears (@ZengFuey) May 22, 2021
If this new law passes, there would be new rules on the amount of ammunition gun owners may hold, and on how many firearms hunters may possess. Anyone charged with domestic violence or harassment will also have their licences revoked. Public comments on the new draft are due within 44 days, as of Saturday, May 22.
Picture: Cape Town Etc gallery