Home South African Citizens urged to turn in illegal firearms and ammo during amnesty period

Citizens urged to turn in illegal firearms and ammo during amnesty period

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The police have reminded the public to surrender their illegal and unwanted firearms, firearm parts or ammunition without fear of being persecuted.

Picture: SAPS

PEOPLE in possession of illegal and unwanted firearms, parts and ammunition have two weeks to surrender them as the amnesty period is soon to come to an end.

However, police have expressed concern that only an additional 23,399 firearms and 119,781 rounds of ammunition were surrendered since the amnesty period started on August 1.

As the period ends on January 31, police have reminded the public to surrender their illegal and unwanted firearms, firearm parts or ammunition without fear of being persecuted.

Police spokesperson Athlenda Mathe said the amount of firearms and ammunition surrendered so far, “constitutes a small percentage of unlicensed firearms which we know are still in circulation”.

“Of the firearms surrendered, 3,139 were voluntarily handed in by their legal owners while 20,260 for which licences have expired were handed in. Subsequent to this, 23,724 rounds of ammunition were also voluntarily handed over to police and 96,057 rounds of ammunition were surrendered by owners whose firearm licences had expired.

“(Citizens) who are in possession of a firearm, firearm parts or ammunition are therefore urged to take advantage of this opportunity by handing in their firearms and ammunition either for destruction, or for re-licensing the specific firearm with a relevant competency at their nearest police station. This applies to estate firearms whose owners have died,” said Mathe.

The amnesty period will also allow citizens the opportunity to surrender firearms whose licences had expired without fear that they will be charged for being in possession of an unlicensed firearm or ammunition.

“The current firearms amnesty period was approved by the Cabinet last year, after the previous amnesty period was hindered following the restriction of movement by people during the country’s lockdown level 4 and 5, as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Despite this, the Saps received 46,714 firearms and with the amnesty final date around the corner, the service is hopeful that all people in South Africa will use this opportunity to their benefit as failure to do so will lead to criminal prosecution,” said Mathe.

Anyone found to be in possession of illegal firearms or ammunition will be charges and processed accordingly.