Gun Control In South Africa
It may seem like gun control is the least of the worries of African citizens, but it’s actually quite the issue. It may seem logical to want to defend yourself against those who want to take advantage of you, and in this part of the country, using a gun is sometimes the only option. With that in mind, one is to ask, are there any gun control laws to stop people from getting out of control? Well, kind of.
Firearms Control Act
This act was initially introduced prevent the proliferation of firearms that were possessed illegally. In order to obtain a firearm legally, it has to be licensed. The owner doesn’t have to be, but the firearm does.
Who Is Eligible?
There are twenty one points that you have to hit in order to obtain a firearm. The four main ones are:
- You have to be older than 21
- You have to be stable & non-violent
- You can’t do drugs
- You can’t have a criminal record
If you meet everything else, amongst these four, you then have to take a proficiency test, which is a practical and theory exam. Only once you pass can you apply to the Police for a competency certificate. There are four categories that you can complete:
- Semi-automatic rifle
The competency certificate isn’t a licence, it’s merely a piece of paper saying you can own the gun that you have received the competency for.
When Can You Own A Firearm?
In this area, there are only certain situations in which you can own a firearm and how many you can legally own. You can have just one for self defence, which can be a shot or handgun. If you live in the area and plan to own multiple guns and need a place to keep them out of harm’s way, the best gun safe for the money may need to be a consideration. It will keep your guns safely locked away and out of the reach of those who can’t have them but want them.
In South Africa, the maximum amount of rounds you can have for self-defense purposes is 200. You also have to always conceal your weapon in public places, there’s not option like there is in the U.S.
Legal Or Illegal? It Doesn’t Matter
Unfortunately, many South Africans have to keep a gun in their home for protection. A lot of times, people break into homes to steal the guns because they can’t get any of their own. It has been shown by international evidence that owners of handguns are victimized more often in contact crimes such as assaults, robbery, murder,
It’s a very common belief that crimes are only committed with illegal guns and that the only way to remedy it is to take away the illegal guns through buy-back programs , searches, amnesties, and intelligence operations, but it’s not. There are more than one way that illegal guns make their ways into South Africa:
- Legal guns get smuggled from close countries.
- Fraud, poor enforcement, and corruption of the Firearms Control Act.
- Loss and theft of firearms from state institutions and civilians.
Think about this for a second-illegal guns were all once legal. There are a high amount of lost and stolen guns. The only way to fix this is by strictly regulating the licensing process for the guns.
Unfortunately, in areas such as South and West Africa, gun ownership is nothing to brag about, it’s actually something to fear. No matter whether owning a gun is illegal or legal, crime is going to happen. South Africa has the second highest gun crime rate, the United States is at the top of the list. It’s not promising that the violence will calm down if stricter laws are put into place, but one can hope.