JOURNAL OF UWC FACULTY OF LAW | ISSN 2077-4907 | Short URL www.ldd.org.za

Disarming the dispirited South African: A critical analysis of the proposed ban on firearms for self-defence, pp 123-148

Volume: Volume 27 - 2023

Article type: Refereed article

Author/s: Windell Nortje and Shane Hull

In South Africa, owning a firearm is a privilege and not a right. This privilege is regulated by the Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000. In May 2021, the Minister of Police published the Firearms Control Amendment Bill (FCAB), 2021, which contains a section prohibiting individuals from obtaining a firearm for self-defence purposes. This article challenges this view and argues that firearm owners should not be banned from protecting their right to life with a firearm. It looks at the reasons why the Bill was published as well as its purposes. The enactment of such a Bill would have severe consequences for individuals who want to protect their constitutional rights in a country with one of the highest crime rates in the world. Consequently, the article also examines the impact the proposed prohibition would have on self-defence by means of a firearm. Furthermore, the South African Police Service (SAPS) is reluctant to address its own challenges, which have contributed significantly to the proliferation of unlicensed firearms. The supply of firearms by SAPS to criminals will be examined and recommendations made for addressing the dilemma faced by SAPS. SAPS should rectify and professionalise its firearm regime instead of disarming South Africans, who are desperately in need of a peaceful society. Finally, proposals are made as to how firearm control could be improved.

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