The South African Police Service (SAPS) is urging residents with unlicensed firearms to make use of the Firearm Amnesty period provided by government.

The Amnesty commenced on August 1 and is valid until January 31, 2021.

“The previous amnesty period which was also intended for a period of six months, between December 2019 and May 2020 was thwarted by the unexpected Covid-19 pandemic. Despite this, the South African Police Service received a resounding 46 714 firearms,” Government said in a statement. 

“However, we believe that there are much more firearms out there that still need to be surrendered and we are confident the response to the previous amnesty would have been even more resounding if it were not for the pandemic.”

The Amnesty allows all persons with illegal or unwanted firearms as well as ammunition to hand them in at their nearest police station without punishment.

“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,” the statement continued.

The latest National Crime Statistics once again 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.

The Firearm Amnesty envisages to see a reduced number of illegally possessed firearms in circulation in the country. It therefore provides firearm owners with the opportunity to hand in illegal and unwanted firearms which will result in the prevention of crime and promotion of safety to ensure people living in South Africa are and feel safe.

It must be noted that 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.

For Firearm Amnesty enquiries, please contact FLASH Call Center at ‪012 353 6111‬ or email on [email protected](link sends e-mail).

Picture: Unsplash

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