Petitions against the Firearms Control Amendment Bill are gaining momentum as thousands of South Africans are making their voices heard. An EWN report notes that two weeks ago, the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service published a call for public comment on the Bill. Among others, it seeks to remove self-defense as a reason to own a gun. The Firearms Control Amendment Bill 2021 replaces the last Bill that was submitted to Cabinet in February 2015.
Two weeks since the Bill was released for comment, people have been responding to petitions and public participation processes. The Police Ministry has received over 85 000 public submissions on the Bill. The DA launched a petition against the Bill and already has 65 000 signatures. Action Society and Dear SA have public participation processes also running. Meanwhile, Gun Free South Africa has welcomed the proposed amendments stating clearly that owning a firearm is a privilege, not a right. The organisation’s Adele Kirsten said yesterday: ‘A gun doesn’t make you safer; it puts you more at risk. There is no principle that says you have the right to use a gun to protect yourself.’ The public has until 4 July to comment on the Bill.