The minister of Police, Nkosinathi Nhleko, has acknowledged that more firearms are stolen than lost. He responded to a question of Pieter Groenewald of the Freedom Front Plus in Parliament. In the previous financial year (2013/14) individual (private) firearm owners lost 233 firearms, while 5 194 firearms were stolen from them. Public institutions (Police, SANDF etc.) had over the same period lost 199 firearms and 1 769 were stolen. At security companies, 41 were lost and 796 were stolen.
“If it is taken into consideration that nearly three million (2 989 705) firearms are owned by individuals and 233 firearms were lost, only 0,007% firearms of private owners were lost. It could therefore be said that there was negligence with 0,007% of legal firearms.
“The minister of Police and even president Zuma’s comments that there are too many private firearms and that it promotes violent crime in the country is therefore totally untrue and shows their ignorance and that they are ill-informed about private firearm ownership.
“The problem with crime and firearms should be found in illegal firearms in the country. Gun Free SA estimates that there could be 4 million illegal firearms in South Africa. Criminals prefer to use illegal firearms because it is difficult to trace.
“If the minister and Police focus more on illegal firearms and stop targeting legal firearm owners as the culprits that promote violent crime, violent crime could be combatted more effectively,” Dr. Pieter Groenewald, chief spokesperson on Police for the Freedom Front Plus says.
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