The South African Police Service (SAPS) wishes to remind the public to surrender their illegal and unwanted firearms, firearm parts or ammunition without fear of being persecuted. The deadline for the firearm amnesty ends on Sunday, 31st January 2021.
With only two weeks left, the Service is concerned that since the approval of the second amnesty period, only an additional 23 399 firearms and 119 781 rounds of ammunition were surrendered in the period commencing, 1 August 2020 to date. This constitutes a small percentage of unlicensed firearms which we know are still 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. Subsequent to this, 23 724 rounds of ammunition were also voluntarily handed-over to police including, 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 with 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 level 4 and 5, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, the SAPS 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 emphasized enough that as of 01 February 2021, those who are found to be in possession of illegal firearms, firearm parts and ammunition will be charged and processed accordingly.