The latest National Crime Statistics once again showed that firearms were the preferred weapon in the commission of most violent crimes.
Reducing the circulation of firearms may potentially reduce the scourge of violent crimes quite significantly.
The restrictions of Levels 5 and 4 had prevented people from turning in illegal as well as their unlicensed and unwanted firearms and ammunition.
A new Firearm Amnesty approved by Parliament at the end of July for a period of six months, commenced on 1 August 2020 and will run until 31 January 2021.
The previous amnesty period, which was also intended for a period of six months, was derailed by the unexpected Covid-19 pandemic; despite this, the South African Police Service (SAPS) received a resounding 46 714 firearms.
The amnesty period creates an opportunity for members of the public to surrender unwanted firearms or firearms that are possessed illegally, to the SAPS without fear of being prosecuted.
Those who surrender their firearms during the period of amnesty will be required to complete and sign the necessary forms at the nearest police station, and must insist on a copy of the SAPS 548 (Amnesty form).
Members of the public are urged to take advantage of this period to hand in those firearms and ammunition either for destruction or renewal of a competency certificate and a valid licence.
All firearms that have been handed in will undergo ballistic testing to ensure that they have not been used in the commission of any crimes, before they can be considered for destruction.
For more information, the community is encouraged to contact their local police station or the Central Firearms Register (CFR) call centre on 012 353 6111, and report corruption on 0800 701 701.