Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

Unfair to keep firearm-owners guessing regarding new amnesty period

Firearm-owners whose licences have expired are still in the dark after the evasive and vague responses by the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, to questions from the FF Plus regarding the possibility of, among other things, a new amnesty period.

About a year ago, the Minister indicated, in response to a similar question by the FF Plus, that he would consider the request for a new amnesty period for turning in firearms seeing as he felt that such a request is "reasonable".

Dr Pieter Groenewald, leader of the FF Plus, today asked the Minister whether he still intended to announce a new amnesty period, during which firearms could be turned in without prosecution, as well as which dates he had reserved for that purpose.

The Minister was also asked whether firearm-owners would be given an opportunity to apply for a licence for their firearms whose licences have already expired, and whether these firearms could remain in their possession for the time being given the high incidence of firearm theft at police stations.

Minister Cele simply stated that another amnesty period is possible seeing as the law makes provision for it.

He added that there are various aspects related to such amnesty periods, like complex administrative processes.

The FF Plus will pose a follow-up question in the parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Police about the possibility of allowing an individual to apply for a licence for a firearm of which the licence has already expired.

It would only be fair to grant such a request, because it is not firearm-owners' fault that there is administrative chaos at the police's Central Firearms Registry.

Minister Cele admitted last year that the second and last amnesty period was seriously disrupted and that many firearm-owners were affected by it.

The FF Plus will continue to drive this issue on the highest level on behalf of all firearm-owners, because there is no excuse for the police's incompetence and poor handling of the amnesty process thus far.




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