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Gun licence dispute continues

Many South Africans oppose the easy access to guns and gun licences.

Gun & magazine. Picture: sxc.hu.

JOHANNESBURG - Despite statistics by the South African Police Services indicating a decline in gun-related crimes, the debate on gun laws and ownership in South Africa remains divided.

Varying degrees of the debate have emerged with many still opposing the easy access to guns as it has been reported that it takes only 90 days to acquire a gun license.

The issue was thrust back into the spotlight earlier this year, when Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius was arrested for shooting and killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February.

Motlalepule Kotlae, a victim of hijacking, believes guns are the biggest contributor to crime and deaths in the country. She says, "The minute you go out and look for a firearm, you are out to harm."

The South African Gun Owners Association believes owning a gun is a right, as much as it is to drive a motor vehicle.

Police said the responsibility is on gun owners to comply with the relevant legislation.