Home crime More than 15,000 firearms seized and destroyed during crime prevention operations

More than 15,000 firearms seized and destroyed during crime prevention operations

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Police said all firearms that were destroyed on Thursday had been subjected to ballistic testing to determine if they had been utilised in any commission of a crime.

Some of the firearms seized by police. Picture: SAPS

POLICE have destroyed over 15,000 firearms seized during crime prevention operations across the country, voluntarily surrendered or forfeited to the State were destroyed in Vanderbijlpark on Gauteng.

On Thursday afternoon, the firearms were put into large bags and then crushed in a giant bin.

National police spokesperson, Brigadier Athlenda Mathe, said police seized 15,700 various firearms.

“All firearms that were destroyed today had been subjected to ballistic testing to determine if they had been utilised in any commission of a crime. The SAPS confirms that all firearms have been cleared,” Mathe said.

Mathe said through Operation Shanela, police have either recovered or confiscated close to 800 firearms since the inception of these high density operations.

“The SAPS will continue to intensify operations to detect and remove illegal firearms and ammunition from the streets of South Africa, as they pose a threat to the safety and security of the inhabitants of this country,” Mathe said.

According to Gun Free SA, 31 people are shot and killed every day in South Africa.

The advocacy group said most if not all illegal guns in SA were once legally held before falling into criminal hands.

“This requires tightening controls over legal guns to stop them leaking into criminal hands. Record keeping, which is managed by the Central Firearms Registry, is a cornerstone of gun control – and allows the state to know who owns what gun at any time,” GFSA’s Adèle Kirsten said.

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