SA organisations gear up to fight proposed Firearms Control Amendment Bill

The amendment seeks to prohibit people from legally acquiring a firearm for the purposes of self-defence. It's currently out for public comment.

FILE: Confiscated and retired firearms are destroyed by SAPS at SCAW Metal in Germiston. Picture: Thomas Holder/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - South African organisations are gearing up to fight the proposed Firearms Control Amendment Bill.

On Thursday, lobby group AfriForum hosted a conference on the matter, along with 21 other organisations.

The amendment seeks to prohibit people from legally acquiring a firearm for the purposes of self-defence. It's currently out for public comment.

The conference on Thursday saw organisations, associations and political parties make their arguments for the scrapping of the amendment bill.

The central thorny topic was the removal of self-defence as a reason to obtain a firearm licence, which delegates viewed as irrational and reckless.

Gideon Joubert runs an online platform called Dear SA said that more than 84,000 people had already posted comments.

"You're always the first responder to your personal emergency, nobody else can get to that scene before you therefore you must be empowered to deal with the problem or circumstances that life throws at you at that point in time."

John Beare from Lowvelt Hunters said that the bill would affect thousands of gun collectors too.

"There's heritage firearms. How would you like it if old vehicles... Ferraris... this is the time that we have to start working together."

Participants adopted a motion agreeing to share information and ideas around projects or campaigns against the bill as well as possible cooperation should the matter wind up in court.