NATIONAL NEWS - Illegal firearm and ammunition owners now have a second chance, with the extension of the new Firearm Amnesty period, to hand over their illegal or unwanted firearms to their nearest police station.
This, Police Spokesperson, Brig Motlafela Mojapelo says, includes firearm owners with expired licences.
Mojapelo explained that firearm owners with expired licences must either surrender their firearms to their nearest police station or apply for new licences.
“In cases where the person’s licence has expired and is still in need of that firearm, he or she must hand it in at the police station and apply for the new licence and not for a renewal,” he said.
The new amnesty period runs from 1 August 2020 to 31 January 2021 and government is urging people to take advantage of this period by handing their firearms and ammunition in, either for destruction or renewal of a competency certificate and a valid licence. The previous amnesty period between December 2019 and May 2020 was thwarted by the unexpected Covid-19 pandemic but despite this, the South African Police Service received 46 714 firearms.
At the time, however, Police Spokesperson, Colonel Brenda Muridili said there were more firearms out there that still needed to be surrendered. “We are confident the response to the previous amnesty would have been even more resounding had it not been for the pandemic. The restrictions during lockdown levels four and five prevented people from turning in illegal as well as unlicensed and unwanted firearms and ammunition,” she said.
Muridili says the Firearm Amnesty envisages to see a reduced number of illegally possessed firearms in circulation in the country. “It must be noted that no indemnity will be granted for firearms used to commit any crime.”
All firearms that have been handed in will undergo ballistic testing to ensure that they have not been used in the commission of any crimes, before they can be considered for destruction.