More than 100,000 comments on proposed gun law — here’s why South Africa is upset
Public submissions opposing changes to South Africa's gun laws are streaming in, including from people against the self-defence provision, the police ministry says.
The surge of comments saw police minister Bheki Cele on Monday extend “the legislative process that seeks to mould the Firearms Control Bill through public participation for 21 working days”.
The bill is now open for public comment until August 2.
There have been more than 100,000 written submissions since the bill was published in the gazette for comments on May 21, the ministry said.
Its statement said the ministry “continues to note with interest the public debate around the proposed amendments”.
“The comments received by and large oppose the repeal of the provisions pertaining to self-defence, the collectors of firearms and ammunition, private collectors, the reloading of ammunition, the restrictions on the number of firearms and ammunition that sport shooters and hunters may possess and the reduction in the licensing period.”
The extension by Cele, said the ministry, comes after requests to the Civilian Secretariat For Police Service for access to the research reports that formed part of the information gathered for the amendments.
“In the spirit of fairness and transparency, a decision was taken to make these research reports available and afford all members of the public an opportunity to have proper insight into the reports and provide informed comments when contributing to the strengthening of the bill,” said the ministry.