PARTY

Dangerous Weapons bill dangerous - Pieter Groenewald

FF+ MP says draft legislation would criminalise much reasonable behaviour

DANGEROUS WEAPONS BILL IS DANGEROUS

The Bill on Dangerous Weapons was published in the Government Gazette and interested parties have until 2 October 2011 to submit their comments on it. The Bill defines what a dangerous weapon is, deals with the trade in toy guns, air guns, BB-guns and paintball guns. The Bill stipulates that anyone found in possession of these guns or a dangerous weapon in certain circumstances which creates suspicion, can be arrested and can be handed a sentence of up to three years in jail.

"This Bill has far-reaching implications and nearly any object, from a pocket-knife to a stone is viewed as a dangerous weapon. It gives powers to the Police to arrest people left, right and centre. It will furthermore seriously hamper the paint-ball industry and various forms of Eastern Martial Arts. The fact that one cannot use self-defence as a defence makes the Bill unconstitutional," Mr. Pieter Groenewald (MP), chief spokesperson on Police for the Freedom Front Plus says.

"The Firearms Act allows one to carry one's firearm on his/her person, but it has to be covered, but section 2(3) of this Bill determines that one cannot carry a knife in a sheath on my person and state that is for self-defence purposes. There is nearly 400-500 thousand people in the paint ball industry and more than a million in the Eastern Martial Arts industry. Various self-defence instruments are used in these martial arts.

Clubs, batons, pepper spray and anything which can be used to injure another is defined as a dangerous weapon. Should a woman walk with pepper spray late at night and the Police stops her, she cannot claim it to be for self-defence purposes and she can therefore be arrested. The Bill is to say the least absurd and interest groups should urgently submit their objections in writing," Groenewald said.

Statement issued by Mr. Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus Chief Spokesperson: Police, September 27 2011

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