The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) says that it supports the calls made towards ensuring that the Firearms Control Act of 2000 does not allow for individuals to own more than one firearm, and encourages more people to surrender them as part of a drive to reduce their flow within our communities.
The 2018/19 national crime statistics and preceding statistics are but other measures that demonstrate the negative effects firearms, as weapons of choice, have had on our communities by increasing the number of people shot, robberies and carjacking as compared to previous years.
As indicated in many international evidence, having a gun for self-defence puts you and your family at risk for death and injury. A gun in the home is more likely to be used to commit murder, suicide or to threaten and intimidate someone known to the shooter than to successfully protect against an intruder.
As of 2018, 8 women are murdered a day in our country, an estimated 3 of whom are shot and killed, a figure which is a 50% increase from 2009.
It is our held view that when firearms are strictly controlled and lesser available, fewer criminal activities occur and lives are saved.
According to Gun Free South Africa, there are 4, 5 million firearms registered in our country, with 9855 reported lost or stolen on a yearly basis, and with 23 people being murdered with the use of firearms on a daily basis.
As this amnesty process unfolds, it is equally important that fraud, corruption and theft by all involved is countered as there had previously been concerning reports about the dereliction of duty by those who have failed to fully implement and comply with the set laws.
We encourage more South Africans to fully participate in the Firearm Amnesty project, which ends on the 31st of March 2020. It is our firm view that with their full participation, the reduction of illegal firearms which are instrumentally utilised in violent crimes could be significantly reduced.
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