Gun Bill: Instead of waiting for the courts to decide, Government must tear up the draconian gun bill
6 June 2021
The DA calls on the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, together with the ANC government to tear up the draconian Firearms Control Amendment Bill which seeks, among other limitations, to invalidate self-defence as a reason to own a gun in South Africa.
This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s statement in Parliament this week that it would be up to the courts to decide whether South Africans would be allowed to apply for a firearms licence on the basis of self-defence. This statement demonstrates a clear lack of confidence by the President in the gun bill. The DA is of the view that the government cannot hide behind the courts. The ANC must make their views on the matter known so that the public can hold them to account for attempting to take away their constitutionally enshrined rights to protect themselves and their families.
As the DA we have made it clear that we stand opposed to the ban on firearm ownership for self-defence by civilians. With South Africa’s high crime rate, this draconian piece of legislation emboldens criminals, while taking away the last line of defence for law-abiding citizens.
The DA’s petition against the Firearms Control Amendment Bill is gaining significant momentum with more than 65 000 South Africans who have already signed the petition. These are ordinary South Africans who along with the DA stand in strong opposition to the Bill. They are law-abiding citizens who refuse to be disarmed, only to be forced to rely on an understaffed and under-resourced police force that has been failing to fight crime. Disarming law-abiding citizens in the current crime-ridden environment is reckless, ill-advised and places many innocent civilians at the mercy of criminals.
We urge those who have not yet signed the petition to visit https://petitions.da.org.za/p/stopgunbill and sign it to keep “self-defence” as a reason to possess a firearm. This will go a long way towards putting a stop to this absurd and baseless piece of legislation.
The President and Minister Cele must rip to shreds this draconian Gun Bill, as they have the power to do so. The government must stop passing the buck to the courts, the people of South Africa have made their feelings against the Bill abundantly clear.
The government and SAPS should be making it easier for South Africans to feel safe, not more difficult.
Issued by Andrew Whitfield, DA Shadow Minister of Police, 6 June 2021