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Firearms Control Bill on Track

April 14, 2015

Portfolio Committee on Police

The Draft Firearms Control Amendment Bill is likely to be tabled in parliament in May 2015.

The national assembly’s police committee chairperson, Francois Beukman, revealed this in a statement released prior to the holding of a National Firearms Summit in parliament this week.

The proposed legislation is designed to tighten up the control of firearms in South Africa.

It was published for comment at the beginning of this month.

The bill aims to, inter alia:

• Introduce verification by accredited associations of firearm applications;
• Ensure that a semi-automatic firearm or shotgun licence can only be issued to experienced sport-shooters;
• Additional motivation needed for more than two hunting or sports-shooting licences;
• Spell out validity period for competency certificates;
• Introduce penalty for late applications for renewal of licences;
• Strengthen control over muzzle loading firearms;
• Ensure that all firearms have microdots for identification;
• Introduce a licence for a percussion-cap-and ball firearm;
• Appoint designated firearms officers at all police stations; and
• Strengthen the independence of the appeal board

The summit, which ended yesterday, sought to formulate a common approach to addressing the proliferation of firearms in the country.

Other objectives included:

• assessing implementation of current legislation and policies;
• devising new ways to deal with challenges faced by government in firearms control; and
• drawing up holistic solutions involving key sectors.