South African gun laws back in the spotlight

The draft bill includes microdots and ballistics, which aim to improve the tracking of weapons.

FILE: Over 9,000 illegal guns were destroyed in the Vaal in January 2015. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's gun laws are back in the spotlight with a draft bill which aims to tighten controls and introduce minimum sentences for using guns in crimes.

Some of amendments include microdots and ballistics, which aim to improve the tracking of weapons.

Experts and lobby groups are expected to debate the issue at a firearm control summit at the end of the month.

The tightening of the country's gun laws has always been a contentious issue.

Gun Free South Africa's Adele Kirsten on Tuesday said the proposed amendments were a significant step forward, one of them being the tracing of firearms.

"It's seen as a key innovation to track the movement of guns from the legal pool into the illegal pool and that's your microdot system."

However, Attorney Martin Hood for various firearm organisations disagrees, saying the police simply do not have the resources or facilities.

The draft bill has been released by the government for public comments.