Civilian Police Secretariat postpones meeting on firearm legislation

12 November 2021 - The Civilian Police Secretariat (CPS) scheduled a stakeholder engagement for 11 and 12 November on the draft Firearm Amendment Bill, which would, inter alia, ban South Africans from owning guns for the purpose of self-defence. This webinar was postponed at the last minute.

The Civilian Police Secretariat (CPS) scheduled a stakeholder engagement for 11 and 12 November on the draft Firearm Amendment Bill, which would, inter alia, ban South Africans from owning guns for the purpose of self-defence. This webinar was postponed at the last minute.

The meeting’s preparations were desultory. For example, the IRR was not invited to attend, even though it channeled over 20 000 submissions opposing the Bill, and several other key stakeholders were not invited either. For reasons that are not clear, by contrast, the South African Football Association was invited.

In addition, only one slot was posted for “discussion” in the two-day webinar, even though speaking opportunities were not afforded to several organisations that had prepared, and submitted, long and well-considered reports speaking against the Bill. These include Gun Owners South Africa, Girls on Fire (a women’s rights advocacy group), and the IRR.

In addition, load-shedding would have rendered it impossible for most stakeholders to participate in the webinar without being interrupted. Until load-shedding is terminated it will remain impossible for a webinar to facilitate a genuine meeting of relevant stakeholders. The indefinite postponement of discussions on this reckless and illiberal draft Bill is, for all the reasons above, therefore welcome.

Said Terence Corrigan: “In our view, the proponents of this Bill have failed to make a convincing case for it. We have made extensive critiques of the Socio-Economic Impact Assessment, as well as of the documents upon which the Bill has been based.

“The Bill proposes radically to restrict the grounds on which firearms may be owned and used; the various consequences of this will be extensive indeed. At a bare minimum, this requires that all stakeholders’ inputs be properly considered. We hope that good sense will prevail and that this Bill will be abandoned; but if it is to proceed, it must be done in a manner that allows those with an interest in it to have a genuine opportunity to voice their concerns.”


Media contact: Terence Corrigan, IRR Project Manager – 066 470 4456; terence@sairr.org.za
Media enquiries: Michael Morris – 066 302 1968; michael@irr.org.za

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