Firearms for self-defence: Minister wants to make it harder and more complicated
12 November 2018
It is clear that the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, wants to make it harder to possess firearms for the sake of self-defence. This came to light in the Minister’s response to an official parliamentary question posed by Dr Pieter Groenewald, leader of the FF Plus.
In response to Dr Groenewald's question of whether the Minister plans to remove the category of owning a firearm for the sake of self-defence, the Minister answered that the process of amending the Firearms Control Act has already advanced quite far and that the category in question will be made a lot stricter.
The Minister said that the reason for this is to curb the rise in illegal firearm ownership.
The reason provided by the Minister, i.e. that he wants to make the rules and regulations for owning a firearm for self-defence stricter in order to reduce illegal firearms, shows that the Minister is ignorant. Illegal firearms are increasing due to illegal arms trade as well as theft at police stations and other state institutions.
The Minister must provide us with the number of firearms that were stolen from state institutions as well as the number that were stolen from private firearm owners. And then he must also disclose how many illegal firearms have come into the country as a result of illegal arms trade.
The latest crime statistics prove that the police do not have crime, and in particular violent crime, under control and thus, the police is failing to perform its constitutional duty to protect the people and their possessions in South Africa.
If the government cannot protect you, then you have the right to protect yourself and your family by all possible means, including owning a firearm for the sake of self-defence. It is also a common law right for all.
The Minister's answer also creates the impression that the leaked draft amendment bill to the Firearms Control Act, which proposes that firearm licences must no longer be issued for self-defence, will not be implemented as such, but that regulations will now only be made stricter after the public's negative reaction to the leaked bill.
The government must stop deceiving itself and the people by creating the impression that firearms are the cause for the high murder rate in South Africa. The government is simply creating this false impression to use it as a smokescreen for its own incompetence. The disarming of the citizenry will benefit criminals and promote crime, which will increase dramatically as a result.
The FF Plus will do everything in its power to protect the right to defend oneself by owning and making use of firearms. The Minister must disclose his planned amendments at once so that the public can know what these amendments entail and can react accordingly.
Issued by Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus leader, 12 November 2018