“Law-abiding gun owners are not the reason for violent crime, Adv. Shandu.” This is the reaction of Free State Agriculture to Adv. Lungelwa Shandu, chairperson of the Firearms Appeal Board’s statements on the current affairs program Carte Blanche, on Sunday 6 June 2021.
During the interview, Adv. Shandu explains the SAPS’s reasons for banning self-defense as motivation for a gun license.
According to Adv. Shandu, weapons stolen from legal gun owners are most commonly used during violent crime. Adv. Shandu argues that if there are fewer legal firearms in the possession of law-abiding gun owners, criminals will not have access to weapons. For this reason, Adv. Shandu means that specifically those people that carry weapons for self-defense reasons may not possess weapons (2:46 to 3:30).
According to the President of Free State Agriculture, Francois Wilken, Adv. Shandu implicates that law-abiding citizens are the reason for violent crime. Should Adv. Shandu’s reasoning be taken further, it would also mean that other assets such as vehicles (which are also used in robberies) should also be taken out of the hands of vehicle owners. If Adv. Shandu’s argument is correct:
- Why not completely disarm the security companies, SAPS and the army? – Surely it will stop all violent crime?
- Why, then, are other reasons, other than self-defense, accepted for gun licensing?
- Does this mean that only weapons licensed for self-defense purposes are used during violent crime?
Free State Agriculture (FSA) is concerned that the remarks of Adv. Shandu indicates a deeper problem. The interview gives the viewer the impression that the police place the blame for the high crime rate on the victims of crime and not on their own shortcomings. If the policing of the country were up to standard:
- There would be no need for citizens to possess weapons for self-defense reasons.
- A criminal would never gain access to the home of a legal firearm owner.
- Less violent crime would have been committed.
Wilken further believes that the government further seeks to disguise its negligence in the proper handling of firearm license applications by means of the draft amendment bill. In this regard, existing legislation is already in place and through its proper application and implementation it can be ensured that a proper system is in place. “The problem seems to be with the application rather than the legislation. If it is the intention to seek a different outcome by changing legislation, a different outcome is far-fetched in the current circumstances. Proper service delivery should only be provided to the public. ”
Free State Agriculture (FSA) is of the opinion that the insert on the draft Firearms Control Amendment Act is indicative of the anti-firearms agenda that is currently being pursued by the government and certain institutions.
To ensure that the voice of those opposed to the bill is heard, Free State Agriculture has made a link available on its website (https://vrystaatlandbou.co.za/protect-your-right-to-self-defence/ ) which members of the public can complete. The submissions will be submitted by FSA to the secretariat of the police.