NATIONAL NEWS - There are only two weeks left to surrender all illegal and unwanted firearms, parts or ammunition as the deadline for the firearm amnesty ends on Sunday 31 January.
Since the approval of the second amnesty period, only an additional 23 399 firearms and 119 781 rounds of ammunition were surrendered from 1 August 2020 to date. This constitutes a small percentage of unlicensed firearms which are known to still be in circulation.
Of the firearms surrendered, 3 139 were voluntarily handed in by their legal owners while 20 260 for which licenses have expired were handed in. In addition, 23 724 rounds of ammunition were also voluntarily handed over to police, as well as 96 057 rounds of ammunition that were surrendered by owners whose firearm licenses had expired.
Members of the public who are in possession of a firearm, firearm parts or ammunition are therefore urged to take advantage of this opportunity by handing in their firearms and ammunition, either for destruction or for re-licensing the specific firearm with a relevant competency at their nearest police station. This applies to estate firearms whose owners have died.
In addition, this period allows members of the public the opportunity to surrender firearms whose licenses had expired without fear that they will be charged for being in possession of an unlicensed firearm or ammunition.
The current firearms amnesty period was approved by Cabinet last year, after the previous amnesty period was hindered following the restriction of movement by persons during the country’s lockdown levels 4 and 5.
Despite this, police have received 46 714 firearms and with the amnesty final date around the corner, the service is hopeful that all people in South Africa will use this opportunity to their benefit, as failure to do so will lead to criminal prosecution.
It cannot be emphasised enough that as of 1 February, those who are found to be in possession of illegal firearms, firearm parts and ammunition will be charged and processed accordingly.
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