The proposed amendments to the Firearms Control Act, which were announced in the Government Gazette on Friday, will result in a major disarmament of legal female firearm license owners. This will leave them defenseless to protect themselves and their families. This is the opinion of Free State Agriculture (FSA) on the proposed amendments to the law.
“Women are to a lesser extent part of dedicated Hunters’ Associations, in some cases they have dedicated hunter status, and are not as closely involved in sport shooting activities in communities through the Hunters’ Associations. This means that women who are very consistent in dealing with legal firearms, will not be able to legally possess any firearms for self-defense.”, believes Francois Wilken, president of Free State Agriculture. “Given the reality of gender-based violence in South Africa where many women and children are the victims of serious violent crimes, women will in no way be eligible to legally possess a firearm for self-defense if the amendments to the Firearms Control Act is accepted.” According to Wilken, this means that female farmers will then in no way be in a position to defend themselves and their families.
The proposed amendments to the law currently provide for a person to possess a firearm for occasional hunting, which will mostly exclude women, and will include many more men. The proposed amendments under the Firearms Control Act will therefore result in a total disarmament of women.
Lack of correct facts regarding the use of firearms in murders / serious violent crimes
According to Wilken, the proposed amendments to the Firearms Control Act were not based on facts regarding firearms and whether legal firearms were used in serious violent crimes in South Africa. “The recent release of the Minister of Police in the fourth quarter crime statistics makes no mention of the instruments with which murders and other serious crimes were committed. It also does not mention whether firearms were used or what percentage of them were committed with legal or illegal firearms.” says Wilken.
Free State Agriculture invites people to register their opposition to the proposed Firearms Control Act amendments. “We believe that every person has the right to defend himself or herself”. FSA has made a campaign available on their website for submissions against this law. The submissions made on this page will be handed over to parliament. The website can be visited at https://vrystaatlandbou.co.za/protect-your-right-to-self-defence/