Firearms Control Act – Agriculture strongly opposed

“Self-defence is everyone’s right and cannot be restricted by the state.” This was the reaction of Free State Agriculture (FSA) after the newly proposed amendments to the Firearms Control Act were announced in the Government Gazette on Friday evening. The amendments include that the possession of a firearms for self-defence be removed.

“The mere thought that the government will raise such a proposal, in a country with some of the highest murder rates in the world, is not only outrageous but extremely disturbing and will lead to an increase in criminal anarchy!”, says Francois Wilken, president of Free State Agriculture. “This is absolutely contrary to the provisions of the common law with regard to the right to self-defence provided, while the Bill of Rights enshrined in the Constitution absolutely guarantees the right to life.”

Wilken further says that especially rural communities are already vulnerable, as recently pointed out in the increase in farm attacks and murders statistics, and cannot afford to be deprived of legal firearms. “The state’s inability to protect its citizens from increasing crime,
the perception that criminals have more rights and may possess firearms that are normally illegal, and no longer have the right to defend themselves, is absurd and unconstitutional.”

Tommie Esterhuyse, vice president of FSA, points out that Minister of Police, Mr Bheki Cele’s recent crime statistics release stated that 21.1% of all murders can be attributed to armed robbery, rape, vigilantism, gang incidents and or revenge between the criminal and the victim. That multiple murders were committed in 245 incidents where 526 victims lost their lives because families were unable to defend themselves against armed criminals with firearms raises the question of whether the vast majority of firearms used by criminals in serious violent crimes is illegal? “The law-abiding citizen’s right to protect and defend himself / herself is now being questioned, which is absurd.” says Esterhuyse.

Free State Agriculture will soon launch a campaign to oppose the proposed amendments to the Firearms Control Act.

Vuurwapenbeheerwet – landbou skop vas

“Selfverdediging is elke mens se reg en kan nie deur die staat aanbande gelê word nie.” Dit was die reaksie van Vrystaat Landbou (VL) nadat die nuut voorgestelde wysigings aan die Vuurwapenbeheerwet Vrydagaand in die Staatskoerant afgekondig is. Die wysigings behels onder meer dat die besit van vuurwapens vir selfverdediging verwyder word.

“Die blote gedagte dat die regering so ’n voorstel sal opper, in ’n land met van die hoogste moordsyfers in die wêreld, is nie net verregaande nie maar uiters ontstellend en gaan tot ʼn toename in kriminele anargie lei!”, sê Francois Wilken, president van Vrystaat Landbou (VL).  “Dit is absoluut in stryd met die bepalinge van die gemene reg (common law) asook die Handves van Menseregte wat vervat is in die Konstitusie wat landsburgers die reg op selfverdediging toelaat.”

Wilken sê verder dat veral landelike gemeenskappe baie reeds kwesbaar is, soos onlangs uitgewys in die toename van plaasaanvalle en – moorde statistieke, nie kan bekostig om van wettige vuurwapens ontneem te word nie.  Die staat se onvermoë om sy burgery teen toenemende kriminaliteit te beskerm, die persepsie dat kriminele meer regte het en vuurwapens mag besit wat gewoonlik onwettig is, en nie meer die reg het om hom/haarself te verdedig nie, is absurd en ongrondwetlik.

Tommie Esterhuyse, vise-president van VL, wys uit dat Minister van Polisie, mnr Bheki Cele, se onlangse misdaadstatistiekvrystelling gemeld het dat 21.1% van alle moorde toegeskryf kan word aan gewapende roof, verkragtings, vigilantisme, bendevoorvalle en of weerwraak tussen die krimineel en die slagoffer. Dat meervoudige moorde in 245 insidente gepleeg is waar 526 slagoffers hul lewens verloor het omrede families nie in staat was om hulself te verdedig teen gewapende kriminele met vuurwapens nie, laat die vraag ontstaan of die oorgrote meerderheid van vuurwapens wat in ernstige geweldsmisdade deur kriminele gebruik word, onwettig is? “Die wetsgehoorsame burger se reg om hom/haarself te beskerm en te verdedig word nou bevraagteken, wat absurd is.” sê Esterhuyse.

Vrystaat Landbou sal eersdaags ʼn veldtog loods ten einde die voorgestelde wetswysigings op die Vuurwapenbeheerwet teen te staan.