Firearms Control Bill public participation extended

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Police Minister Bheki Cele has extended the public participation process on the proposed amendment of the Firearms Control Bill by a further 21 days.

This as the Civilian Secretariat Police Service (CSPS) continues to receive input from the public, which were largely opposed to the amendment, the Ministry said in a statement.

Since the Bill was published in the Gazette for comments on Friday 21 May 2021, the Minister said it had received over 100 000 written submissions.

The Firearms Control Amendment Bill, 2021, replaces the Firearms Control Amendment Bill, 2015 that was submitted to Cabinet in February 2015.

The Ministry in the statement said the comments received by and large oppose the repeal of the provisions pertaining to self-defence, and the collectors of firearms and ammunition. The provisions also relate to private collectors, the reloading of ammunition, the restrictions on the number of firearms and ammunition that sport shooters and hunters may possess and the reduction in the licensing period.

On Monday, 28 June 2021, Cele extended the legislative process that seeks to mold the Firearms Control Bill through public participation for 21 working days. This period will commence from 5 July to 2 August.

The Ministry said the decision came after the CSPS received several requests for information with particular interest in the Witwatersrand School of Governance, 2015, and the Firearms Committee 2016 Research reports, which formed the basis of the amendments. 

“In the spirit of fairness and transparency, a decision was taken to make these Research reports available and afford all members of the public an opportunity to have proper insight into the reports and provide informed comments when contributing to the strengthening of the Bill. 

“It is prudent to note that these research reports were not the only source of information, which informed the provisions of the amendments, but consideration of Policy decisions and crime statistics were utilised as well.”

The Police Ministry again urged South Africans to make their input to the Firearms Control Amendment Bill, 2021 which can be accessed on the Civilian Secretariat for the Police’s website