Tebogo Msimanga |
The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it has noted with concern the contents of the draft Firearms Control Amendment Bill, particularly the removal of “self-defence” as a reason to possess a firearm. Under a legislative proposal formally revived on Friday, 21 May 2021, South Africans will not be able to apply for a gun licence on the basis that they need a firearm for self-defence
DA Shadow Minister of Police Andrew Whitfield said they will be vehemently opposing this and other elements of the bill. “Should Minister of Police Bheki Cele succeed with this draconian legislation it will be a victory for the criminals who already enjoy a licence to commit violent crime. It will remove the last line of defence for millions of law-abiding South Africans.”
Whitfield said while the ANC is supporting a R26 million increase to the VIP protection unit they also support slashing the crime prevention budget by R3.8 Billion. “This effectively means more guns to protect VIPs and fewer boots on the ground to protect ordinary South Africans.”
Whitfield further said in the first quarter of this year nearly 5000 people were murdered in South Africa while there were 4500 cases of attempted murder. “Defunding the police and disarming law-abiding citizens in this environment is reckless and will place the lives of many more South Africans at risk.”
The DA is calling on all South Africans who share their concerns to urgently submit their comments on the draft amendment bill to the Civilian Secretariat for Police within 45 days of publication of the notice published on 21 May 2021.