Responding to a call from Gun Free South Africa encouraging ‘people who are most affected by gun violence’, to engage with the government around the proposed firearms amendment bill, national coordinator of Safe Citizen, Jonathan Deal, told journalists that he was perplexed by the appeal from Gun Free South Africa.
“Just weeks ago Gun Free South Africa were promoting the bill to all and sundry and were in fact scheduled to speak in support of the bill at a government webinar hosted by Minister Cele. The fact of the matter is that the people have spoken, and spoken resoundingly. The delayed tabling of the bill is closely linked to the overwhelmingly negative public comment received by the government in connection with the bill, and also to the schedule of the Police Portfolio Committee, which reportedly has more pressing legislative matters with which to deal.”
“Firstly, after the events of July this year South Africans are in no mood to hear about being disarmed, and secondly, the people that have spoken are the exact people who are most affected by gun violence in South Africa. The youth that Gun Free South Africa seeks to unite against lawful private gun ownership will also one day be parents and guardians and they too will learn that a lawfully owned firearm is an intrinsic and necessary part of a civilised society.”
“From the day that the amendment bill was released it was viewed by stakeholders as unworkable, and the detailed submissions from organised stakeholders made that clear to the government. When this bill finally reaches parliament it is expected to be a very different document to that released for comment in May this year.”
Any person concerned with community safety and security is invited to join Safe Citizen and give further effect to the positive relationship that has developed between the organisation and the Civilian Secretariat for Police Services under the memorandum of understanding signed between the organisations.