Public urged to hand over weapons during gun amnesty

The gun amnesty period began in December and will last until May.

Picture: Twitter/@SAPoliceService

JOHANNESBURG - Police have called on South Africans to take advantage of the opportunity to surrender their illegal and unwanted firearms without fear of prosecution.

The country's amnesty period began in December and will last until May.

Police said about 1,500 weapons had already been handed over to authorities so far.

They added that this amnesty period was in the best interests of the country as it gave the government and South Africans a chance to rid themselves of illegal guns.

Gun owners whose licences have expired can also renew their permits without facing the consequences.

Police spokesperson Vishnu Naidoo said those whose weapons were found to have been used in a crime would be prosecuted.

“Only firearms that have not been used in the commission of a crime will be accepted and people will be exonerated from any criminal prosecution. If anybody who hands in a firearm and we find through ballistic testing that those firearms were used in the commission of a crime, then the necessary prosecutions for those particular crimes will follow.”

Naidoo said he's confident that more people would come forward to hand in their illegal and unwanted firearms.