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'Over 1,900 firearms misplaced in the last year'

Firearms belonging to police, defence and correctional services officials have been lost or stolen.

FILE: The National Firearms Summit will look to tighten controls over who owns a gun, and will also look at which police officers are allocated a firearm. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The number of firearms lost by police officers has been raised as a major concern at the National Firearms Summit.

The two-day gathering, taking place at Parliament, comes after cabinet last month approved amendments to the Firearms Controls Act.

The Police Ministry believe the changes will tighten laws around gun ownership and ultimately reduce the number of illegal guns on the streets.

There were raised eyebrows inside Parliament's Good Hope Chamber on Tuesday as the acting secretary of police revealed the number of lost and stolen State firearms in the last year.

Addressing the summit, Civilian Secretariat for Police Reneva Fourie announced that more than 1,900 guns belonging to police, defence and correctional services officials have gone missing.

"The alarming factor is that these firearms find their way onto the illegal market."

Fourie said the Summit strived to not only tighten controls over who owns a gun, but would also look at which police officers are allocated a firearm.