Parliament to consider making September firearms amnesty month
Parliament’s portfolio committee on police says it will formally consider a request by Minister of Police Bheki Cele to have a firearms amnesty month in September.
Parliament's chairperson of the police committee Francois Beukman‚ said the process followed on from a letter Cele had sent to the speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete requesting that the portfolio committee on police consider the matter.
“The proposed amnesty could potentially assist in the reduction of firearms in circulation in the republic. The biggest challenge is still‚ however‚ to address the matter of illegal firearms in circulation‚ and to prevent legal firearms being stolen and getting lost in the pool of illegal firearms‚” Beukman explained further.
He emphasised that the South African Police Service had to ensure that strict control measures were in place when members of the public handed over firearms during the amnesty.
“The portfolio committee needs to be assured that strict protocols will be put in place for the storage‚ testing and destruction of the said firearms. The proposed amnesty should be an effective mechanism to ensure that unwanted firearms are removed from the streets‚” Beukman suggested.
Following the committee’s consideration of the minister of police’s request‚ the matter would be forwarded to the National Assembly for approval‚ Beukman said.
The amnesty will run over a six month period.