Police eyeing tighter gun laws – Zuma

Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Police are looking at more stringent controls on gun ownership, President Jacob Zuma told MPs on Thursday.

Delivering his annual address in the National Council of Provinces, he said government was concerned about the rapid increase in the number of guns in South Africa.

“Let me emphasise that we are seriously concerned about the proliferation of guns in our society, and the level of violence that we have seen on display.

“To this end, police will take advantage of the proposed changes in the Firearms Control Act to introduce more stringent measures for gun control and ownership.”

Zuma’s remarks follow calls by the African National Congress for a review of the Firearms Control Act. The calls came in the wake of the fatal shooting of Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa, and the shooting and wounding of ruling party MP Jackson Mthembu.

The president on Thursday also voiced concern about the high number of shopping mall robberies around the country.

“We are concerned about the high rate of armed robberies at malls and shopping centres in all provinces, but especially in Gauteng and the Western Cape.

“It is, however, important to note that in responding to this threat, police have in the past few days made a considerable number of key arrests to stem the noted increase in all robberies and also violent crime in general.”

He sought to reassure South Africans ahead of the coming festive season.

“The SA Police Service have launched the operation duty calls campaign, which is the festive season safety campaign… It is proven that high crime incidents occur between October and January.”

He said the initiative would focus on aggravated robberies, the proliferation of firearms, second-hand goods, the tracing and arresting of wanted suspects, and road safety and border security.

– Sapa

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