SAPS destroys nearly 25 000 firearms

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GK CRONJE

20 July 2021

“A firearm is issued to an individual and cannot be dealt with like any other asset when the owner dies. The Act provides that in case of death, the family/executor must dispose of the firearm by deactivating it through a gunsmith, sell it to an accredited firearm dealer or individual or voluntarily surrender it to SAPS for destruction,” the SAPS concluded.

Suzuki Ermelo (WEB) 22 September 2020.jp

The South African Police Service has revealed that 24 901 firearms, which included 3 610 rifles, 3 083 shotguns and 17 383 handguns. “The police have to continually detect and remove illegal firearms from circulation, as they are being used to commit serious and violent crimes.Melting these firearms therefore ensures that the proliferation of firearms is dealt a blow. The SAPS will continue to detect and remove illegal firearms and ammunition from the streets of South Africa, as they pose a threat to the safety and security of the inhabitants of this country,” the SAPS said in a statement.

The destroyed firearms included firearms voluntarily handed over during the previous two firearm amnesty periods, as well as those that were either confiscated or surrendered to the State. The smelting took place at the Cape Gate Steel in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng. According to the police, approximately half of the firearms that have been destroyed were handed in during the 2019/2020 and the 2020/2021 Firearm Amnesty periods. These amnesty firearms were also subjected to IBIS testing and there were no positive hits nor firearm applications linked to them. The SAPS still encourages those that have to handle firearms of their deceased relatives to do so in line with the prescripts of the law. “A firearm is issued to an individual and cannot be dealt with like any other asset when the owner dies. The Act provides that in case of death, the family/executor must dispose of the firearm by deactivating it through a gunsmith, sell it to an accredited firearm dealer or individual or voluntarily surrender it to SAPS for destruction,” the SAPS concluded.