Millions of South Africans have lost confidence in the police’s ability to protect them. The breach of trust is in many respects based on poor or no service received. Although there are other reasons as well, communities are forced to rely much more on, amongst others, private security and security companies, but especially on their own ability to protect themselves, their family and friends with firearms.
The practical implications of the amendments are:
- No weapons are allowed for self-defence; you are totally at the mercy of circumstance.
- Hunting and sporting weapons are further restricted, even if you have dedicated status.
- Possession of reloading equipment becomes a crime, so no reloading of ammunition is allowed.
- Priming development is taboo.
- No weapons may be transported without a special permit. Hunting or going to the shooting range will require a permit.
- No one under the age of 16 years is allowed to handle a weapon, not even under supervision.
- No more than 100 rounds of ammunition per weapon may be in your possession without a special permit. This applies whether you have dedicated status or not.
- Acquisition and maintenance of dedicated status are made more difficult.
- Private arms collections are scrapped in totality, only public collectors are recognised.
- The Minister acquires wide powers to restrict the import of weapons and ammunition.
The draft amendment bill will result in ordinary people and farmers being left vulnerable. The South African Police Service has already acknowledged that they do not have the capacity to protect South Africans from crime. Free State Agriculture’s recent report on farm murders and attacks shows an increase in the type of crime that compares with various other violent crimes, such as murder and robbery which also increased drastically.
Free State Agriculture regards the proposed amendments as irrational and reckless, especially as this draft bill deprives South Africans, among other things, of the ability to possess a firearm for self-defence purposes. Together we can oppose and stop the proposed changes.