Articles and Posts

Briefing 3 of 2018: Constitutional Court unanimously rules regular gun licence renewal is constitutional: What next?

  • June 2018
  • Posted By GunFreeSA
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On 7 June 2018 the Constitutional Court unanimously ruled that sections 24 and 28 of the Firearms Control Act (2000), under which gun owners must renew their firearm licences on a regular basis or forfeit guns for which licences have expired to the state, are constitutional. In making its judgement, the ConCourt ruled that gun ownership is not a fundamental right under the Bill of Rights, rather it is a privilege regulated by the Firearms Control Act (FCA). Under the Act: No person may possess a gun without a valid licence; A firearm licence is valid for a limited period of time; and Unless a gun owner has renewed his gun licence before expiry, he has committed a criminal offence and is subject to penalties. The ConCourt ruling has the potential to kickstart the implementation of the FCA. It gives a clear directive to SAPS to properly enforce the law and to gun owners to comply with the law. As soon as one of these parties act, the other will be forced to respond, helping close the implementation ‘vacuum’ feeding

Gun Free SA welcomes Constitutional Court ruling that regular gun licence renewals constitutional

  • June 2018
  • Posted By GunFreeSA
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Constitutional Court, 7 June 2018: Gun Free South Africa welcomes this morning’s ruling by the Constitutional Court, which upholds the constitutionality of regular gun licence renewals. Under section 24 and section 28 of the Firearms Control Act (2000), all gun owners are required to renew their firearm licences on a regular basis. In 2016 the South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association challenged these sections, arguing they are vague and irrational, breached the right of equality and deprived gun owners of their property, as a gun owner who fails to renew his licence in time, and is thus in possession of an unlicensed weapon, must forfeit his gun to the state. The Constitutional Court ruled that gun ownership is not a fundamental right under our Bill of Rights, rather it is a privilege regulated by the Firearms Control Act.  Under the Act: No person may possess a gun without a valid licence; A firearm licence is valid for a limited period of time; and Unless a gun owner has renewed his gun licence before expiry, he has committed a criminal

Brief 2 0f 2018: Cape Town proves strong gun laws save lives, lax enforcement kills, illegally supplied guns more dangerous in short term

  • May 2018
  • Posted By GunFreeSA
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Over the years we have consistently raised concern that poor enforcement of the Firearms Control Act (2000) has led to thousands of people being shot and killed. Published research from South Africa now proves this link. In sum, the researchers show that known breakdowns in the enforcement of the Firearms Control Act by the police whereby guns leaked onto the Cape Flats has resulted in Cape Flats communities being shot and killed at a much higher rate than other Cape Town communities. Briefing 2 has been developed in support of the IANSA Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence (7-14 May 2018). The theme for this year’s campaign is: “End the Crisis of Gun Violence”.  South Africa’s own experience shows that strong gun laws save lives, lax enforcement kills, and that illegally channelled guns kill more people in the short term. We have a world class gun law, which, as this Briefing shows, has saved thousands of lives; if it’s properly enforced it has the potential to end the crisis of gun violence sweeping across South Africa and save thousands

Media Statement: Gun Free South Africa and the Western Cape Association for People with Disabilities (WCAPD) calls for urgent action on preventable disabilities

  • December 2017
  • Posted By GunFreeSA
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03 December 2017:  Gun Free South Africa and the Western Cape Association for People with Disabilities (WCAPD) call for urgent action on preventable disabilities Gun Violence claims the lives of an estimated 18-21 people every day according to the 2016/2017 crime stats which means that between 35% – 40% of all murders were committed with a gun. For every one person shot and killed 3-4 people survive a gun shot, with many sustaining injuries often resulting in severe disabilities as well as physical and emotional trauma. With violence rates much higher than the global average, gun injuries still present a significant burden to health, justice and social welfare systems in South Africa. “The financial burden of disability as a consequence of gun violence is far-reaching. The Department of Health’s budget for rehabilitation is already severely limited, as is our own, which means that we simply cannot continue providing support to an ever-increasing pool of beneficiaries,” says Erica du Toit, WCAPD Awareness Raising Coordinator. She goes on to emphasise that, “The long-term effect on the economy of persons who are unable

Media Statement Know the law, use the law, save a woman’s or child’s life this 16 Days of Activism

  • November 2017
  • Posted By GunFreeSA
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Saturday 25 November 2017: Three women and one child will be shot and killed today. By the end of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, 48 women and 16 children will have been shot dead; while a further 192 women and 64 children will have been shot and injured, possibly permanently disabled. While women and children make up just 14% and 4% of gun murder victims in South Africa respectively, guns play a significant role in violence committed against them: The biggest threat facing women is not a stranger armed with an illegal gun; a woman in South Africa is more likely to get shot at home by a legal gun licensed to her intimate partner. Gunshots have overtaken stab wounds as the primary cause of murder for children aged 15 to 17 years, though this figure starts rising from the age of 10. An analysis of the circumstances under which children between 0-12 years of age were admitted to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital after being shot found that 39% were shot in

Media Statement: Gun Free South Africa’s response to loss of 2000 guns by police in 4 years

  • November 2017
  • Posted By GunFreeSA
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1 November 2017: The Minister of Police has admitted that 2027 guns were stolen from police armouries in the last four years. These guns are now part of the illegal pool of guns, and outside of any control. Every illegal gun in South Africa begins life as a legal gun. Legal guns leak into the illegal market in 3 ways: Fraud and corruption in gun licensing, which means unfit people are granted legal guns; Smuggling of legal guns between countries; Loss and theft of guns, which is the greatest source of illegal guns. Figures from the police show that police lose an average of 2 guns a day, while civilians lose an average of 20 guns a day. Once a legal gun leaks into the illegal market, there are no laws regulating who can own or use it or how it can be used. Because guns are robust commodities, they can be used over and over again to commit crimes. There are two ways to get rid of illegal guns: Mop up illegal guns and close the tap leaking guns

2016-17 Crime stats: Guns fuel violent crime – 18 to 21 murders committed with guns every day

  • October 2017
  • Posted By GunFreeSA
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MEDIA STATEMENT: Gun Free South Africa’s response to 2016-17 crime stats ( 24 October 2017)  Poor enforcement of gun control laws is leaking guns from the legal to the illegal pool and driving South Africa’s year-on-year increase in violent crime. Latest crime statistics show murder, attempted murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances – crimes most likely committed with a gun – have increased for the fifth year running. In 2016-17, 51 people were murdered every day, 343 more people than in the previous year (an 1.8% increase), attempted murders were up by 78 (0.4%), while 8,429 more robberies with aggravating circumstances were committed (a 6.4% increase to 140,956). Although the police must be commended for recovering an additional 1,362 illegal firearms and rounds of ammunition in 2016-17, Gun Free South Africa is concerned that this 9% improvement is due to the greater availability of guns, instead of improvements in policing. Since 2012, South Africa has seen a steady rise in violent crime, with murder increasing a staggering 22%, from a low of 15,554 murders in 2011-12 to 19,016 in 2016-17.

International Day of Peace

  • October 2017
  • Posted By GunFreeSA
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As part of the International Day of Peace, The International Action Network on Small Arms -the global movement against gun violence, launched an international campaign raising awareness about the epidemic of gun violence. As part of the campaign they asked their members to join a special worldwide singing event called the Concert Across the World to End Gun Violence. The campaign ran from the 21st to the 24th of September. Gun Free South Africa teamed up with 27-year- old singer Andrea Bendie from Capricorn Park in Cape Town who sang a rendition of the anti-gun violence song “Nothing More,” by the band The Alternate Routes. View her video below.  

Youth radio broadcasters build safer communities across South Africa

  • October 2017
  • Posted By GunFreeSA
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The Children’s Radio Foundation, in partnership with Gun Free South Africa and funding support by the European Union, will launch a two-year initiative to promote safety in communities across South Africa. Using the power of radio, youth broadcasters will ignite community dialogues about youth experiences of violence, and get young people involved in making their communities safer. August 2017, Cape Town. Violence is one of the leading causes of death and injury in South Africa, with 16 people on average killed by guns each day.  Several studies have suggested that youth who grow up in violent families and communities are more likely to become violent in adolescence and adulthood. While the dynamics of violence vary from community to community, youth across the country live in fear, and often feel paralyzed by their concerns around safety. For me there are no safe areas in my community because guns are everywhere. Kids can take them to school, at home we have guns, so according to me there are no safe areas in my community. — Youth reporter, Greater Lebowakgomo FM (Limpopo Province)