Thousands of firearms, ammunition surrendered

Friday, February 26, 2010

Pretoria - Over 6 300 firearms and more than 90 000 rounds of ammunition have been surrendered to the South African Police Service to date.

This is in line with the Ministerial Amnesty which expires on 11 April this year. Under the amnesty, anyone who has an illegal or unregistered gun, ammunition or firearm parts can hand them in without being prosecuted.

The theme is "Together we can do more against crime. Awulethe umshini wakho; surrender your firearm."

Police spokesperson Zweli Mnisi told BuaNews that statistics show that when citizens and government work together, crime can be reduced.

"We did not achieve this goal alone but in partnerships with communities, business, civil and organized structures in advocating for a gun-free society."

The continued surrendering of firearms coupled with various police operations across the country, brings the police a step closer to the realisation of being in total control of the streets, he said.

Mnisi said there was a large pool of illegal firearms in circulation around the country and these weapons were a major contributor to the high rate of serious and violent crime in the country.

The reduction of the number of firearms in circulation, he said, was an important part of the South African Police Service's strategy to combat violent crime.

The surrendered weapons are destroyed following a process prescribed by firearms control regulations.

Illegal firearms may be handed to any SAPS member on duty at any police station. The member must then issue a receipt for the weapon and ammunition received