Minister Fritz welcomes extension of deadline for submissions
Minister Fritz welcomes extension of deadline for submissions in Firearms Amendment Bill
Today, the Minister of Community Safety in the Western Cape, Adv. Albert Fritz, welcomes the extension on the deadline to make submissions on the Firearms Amendment Bill, granted by Minister Bheki Cele. The deadline has been extended to 2 August 2021.
The Bill has exacted some controversy around amendments which would outlaw the acquisition of firearms licenses for the purposes of self defense. It would also outlaw licenses for collectors, which means that citizens would no longer be able to collect antique firearms.
Minister Fritz said, “we in the Western Cape take a data-led approach to policy and legislation development. Our Provincial Safety Plan is based on exactly this philosophy. There is no data showing that the high rate of crime and violence is caused by those who acquire firearms for the purposes of self-defense and enthusiasts who collect antique guns which, by law, have to be adjusted so that they can’t fire shots anyway. We therefore oppose the amendments which restrict legal ownership of firearms, and we say that our focus, as government, should be on going after illegal guns.”
Minister Fritz continued, “we know that the firearms control procedures within SAPS is a real problem. Far too many guns are reported lost or stolen by police officers; far too many guns that were handed in to SAPS on amnesty days and which should have been destroyed find their way onto the streets and in the hands of criminals. We are saying that we should be focusing on these problems. These are the real problems. Law abiding citizens with legally-acquired firearm licenses are not the problem.”
The Department of Community Safety has already made a formal submission which also argued that the amendments concerning self defense infringes the rights of citizens to protect themselves.
Minister Fritz concluded, “the extension represents a further opportunity for citizens to actively participate in the legislative process. Many citizens have a lot to say. I want to encourage citizens to say it where it counts. Don’t just complain about it to your friends and family: make your voice count. Have your say where it counts!”
According to the invitation to comment on the bill published by the Government Gazette, comments can be submitted at www.policesecretariat.gov.za