Police lost 376 guns last year
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Cape Town - The police have recovered 376 firearms that had been stolen from members of the SAPS in the last financial year.
The theft of guns from SAPS, dealers and individuals, has been a problem over the years.
Police Minister Bheki Cele has been pushing for the regulation of guns in the country.
He has said this would reduce the number of illegal guns ending up in the wrong hands.
But opposition parties are up in arms that this will take away the right of self-defence by individuals to own firearms.
In the SAPS annual report tabled in Parliament, the police said they have been able to recover thousands of firearms stolen from dealers and individuals.
“The improvement of the regulation of firearms will reduce the number of illegal firearms in circulation, as one of the key drivers of violent crime and play a key role in the investigation and the detection of firearm-related crimes and ultimately the efficient control of firearms, as required by the Firearms Control Act, 2000. The SAPS, through the CFR, is mandated to regulate and ensure effective control over small arms and light weapons, within and across the borders of the Republic,” said the police in the report.
“In 2020/2021, a total of 2 035 firearms owned by individuals, dealers and institutions (excluding SAPS-owned firearms), were circulated as recovered, compared to 4 204 firearms, in 2019/2020,” it said.
“The details of 5 332 firearms were circulated as stolen or lost during 2020/2021. A total of 376 SAPS-owned firearms were circulated as recovered. The National Commissioner approved SAPS National Instruction 06 of 2019: Notification of lost, stolen or found firearms, which aims to streamline and standardise practices involved in the processing of lost, stolen and found firearms, as well as to guide the provincial offices and police stations on firearm circulation,” said the report.