45,000 Sign Petition Against Gun Bill Which Would Ban Firearms for Self-Defence
45,000 Sign Petition Against Gun Bill Which Would Ban Firearms for Self-Defence. Photo: iStockPhoto

A petition against the Firearms Control Amendment Bill is gaining momentum with 45 000 South Africans who have already signed the petition.

The Bill aims to ban ownership of firearms by civilians for the purpose of self defence among other limitations on firearm ownership which the Democratic Alliance (DA) say would affect the hunting, sporting and private security industries.

The petition was launched by the DA, which stands in strong opposition to the Bill, calling it “draconian” and an “absurd and baseless piece of legislation”, and urging that others sign it to keep ‘self-defence’ as a reason to possess a firearm.

The Bill is merely aiming to disarm law-abiding citizens

“With our country’s high crime rate, self defence is the last line of defence for millions of South Africans,” says Andrew Whitfield, DA Shadow Minister of Police. “Without tackling the real problem of a high rate of violent crimes in the country – the Bill is merely aiming to disarm law-abiding citizens. This is reckless and leaves civilians with their hands tied behind their back when facing criminals.

“The SAPS (South African Police Service) budget for visible policing is being cut by R3.8 billion while VIP protection has been increased by R26 million. This is the clearest demonstration that the ANC doesn’t care about the safety of ordinary South Africans.”

Whitfield claims the SAPS is in disarray with “chaos” at the Central Firearms Registry and a backlog in DNA case exhibits.

“While Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, wants to disarm citizens, SAPS is bleeding hundreds of firearms and ‘losing’ them to criminals,” says Whitfield, adding that as the SAPS is filing to protect citizens, the option of civilians to fend for themselves should not be removed.

The public can also submit their objections to comments.fcabill@csp.gov.za