South Africa

Firearms Summit day 2: A gun free South Africa by 2030

“Women, children and vulnerable groups by 2030 should feel protected and have confidence in the criminal justice system to effectively apprehend and prosecute criminals who violate individuals,” said the Minister of Police, Nathi Nhleko on the second day of firearms summit on Wednesday at the National Parliament.

The comments were in line with South Africa’s National Development Plan by 2030. Critical issue raised by Minister Nhleko is how to foster conditions of peace and harmony in society.

According to Nhleko it is neither through attaining gun ownership, proliferation of illegal guns nor policing alone. Government needs to regulate and put effective measures of gun control.

Suggestions on how to reduce gun violence

Amnesty: It was agreed by all stakeholders that government should call for an amnesty of firearms. According to SAPS report similar amnesty in 2005 and 2010 were declared. 33 246 firearms, 608 794 ammunition and 11 712 firearms 129 101 ammunition respectively were declared.

Age limit: It was agreed that most firearms cases are committed by youth hence age limit should be increased from 21 to 25.

Gun free Zones: Although some stakeholders suggested that there should be areas designated gun free zones Andre Pretorius, president of South African Professional Firearm Trainers Council disagreed.

“If you declare an area a gunfree zone that would actually help criminals to commit crimes in such areas because they are very certain no one has a weapon in the area,” he says.

However the minister reiterated that there was no political motive in trying to disarm the public.