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Firearms: Public participation emails fail to deliver

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“Our members’ and supporters’ voices will be heard and if requires Free State Agriculture will deliver comments on the Firearms Control Amendment Bill in person.” This was the reaction of the president of Free State Agriculture (FSA), Mr Francois Wilken, after it came to light that the email address used for the public participation on the Firearms Control Amendment Bill has been experiencing intermittent delivery failures.

The Firearms Control Amendment Bill has drawn significant attention since its publication. Amongst other things, the Bill will ban gun ownership for self-defence. FSA is already on record that this Bill will leave the rural and agricultural community gravely exposed.

According to FSA, several failures to deliver complaints have gained its attention. FSA has sent a letter to the secretary of police expressing concern over the issue. In addition, a letter was sent to the secretary of police by attorney MJ Hood & Associates.

“Given that the country is still in the grips of the national state of disaster, electronic input is the most significant channel that allows the affected public to have their voices heard. The current situation undermines the whole process.” says Wilken.

To ensure that the voice of those opposed to the Bill is heard, Free State Agriculture has made available a link on its website ( ) that members of the public can complete. The submissions will be delivered by FSA to the secretariat of police. “We must ensure that the public’s voice is not ignored on this issue”.