Firearms for self-defence: Striking the category will leave citizens vulnerable and create a paradise for criminals
22 May 2021
The proposal that the category for the possession of firearms for the purpose of self-defence must be struck in the new draft Firearms Control Amendment Bill will leave South African citizens vulnerable against crime and create a paradise for criminals.
With the murder rate being five times higher than the world average (7/100 000 – world and SA – 36/100 000) and rampant robbery and farm attacks, it is vital for citizens to possess firearms in order to defend themselves.
The problems in the police force and the legal system's failure to successfully prosecute criminals serve as proof that the government cannot properly protect citizens against criminals. The proposal is a slap in the face of lawful firearm-owners and the citizenry on the whole.
It is clear that the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, is trying to shift the blame for his own failure to ensure proper and effective firearms control by means of the Central Firearms Registry (CFR) to lawful firearm-owners.
In 2018, the Minister responded to an official question on the matter posed by Dr Pieter Groenewald, leader of the FF Plus, in Parliament.
When asked by Dr Groenewald if it is his intention to strike the category for possessing a firearm for self-defence, the Minister's answer was that the criteria of category will be made more stringent.
The Minister said that the reason for this is to curb the increase in illicit firearm possession. This reason demonstrates the Minister's ignorance. Illicit firearms are increasing in number due to the illicit arms trade, theft of firearms from police stations and the poor management of the CFR.
By striking the category for self-defence, the Minister is not making the criteria more stringent, he is in effect prohibiting it altogether.
The latest crime figures serve as proof that the police force does not have crime, and violent crime in particular, under control and, thus, it is failing to do its constitutional duty to protect South Africa's people and their property.
If the government does not offer you the protection you need, you are fully entitled to protect yourself and your family by any means possible, including owning a firearm for self-defence. In addition, it is everyone's common law right.
The government must stop deluding itself and the people by creating the impression that firearms are the cause of the high murder rate in South Africa. The excuse is not valid and the government is simply using it as a smokescreen to cover up its own incompetence.
Disarming the citizenry will only benefit criminals and promote crime, which will certainly increase sharply.
The FF Plus will do everything in its power to defend and ensure the people's right to defend themselves using firearms.
Issued by Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus leader, 22 May 2021