The DA has launched a petition against the Firearms Control Amendment Bill which proposes a ban on firearm ownership by civilians for the purpose of self-defence, DA MP Andrew Whitfield said on Tuesday.

Gun Owners South Africa (GOSA) earlier lambasted police minister Bheki Cele for the contents of the bill which was released for public comment on Friday 21 May. The government has already received more than 17 000 comment regarding the bill, which has clearly raised strong views about gun control among SA citizens.

“We must protect gun ownership for self defence as it is the last line of defence more millions of South Africans,” SA MP Andrew Whitfield said in a statement released on Tuesday. 

“South Africa has one of the highest murder rates in the world. Just by walking in the streets, South Africans are exposed to dangers similar to those faced by people in some war-torn countries. Disarming law-abiding citizens in the current crime-ridden environment is reckless, ill-advised and places many innocent civilians at the mercy of criminals,” Whitfield said.

Whitfield urged  the public to visit https://petitions.da.org.za/p/stopgunbill to sign the petition against the contents of the bill in order  to keep “self-defence” as a legal reason to possess a firearm. “This will go a long way towards putting a stop to this ridiculous and irrational piece of legislation,” Whitfield said.

Whitfield also urged the public to oppose the “draconian bill” and to submit their objections to comments.fcabill@csp.gov.za and to the DA at stopgunbill@da.org.za.

“The SAPS is in a state of disarray, its dismal failure can be felt by South Africans from all walks of life, especially those in rural and gang-infected communities where police stations are understaffed and under-resourced. SAPS should be making it easier for South Africans to feel safe, not more difficult,” he added.

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Presh JM Reporter

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