Firearms Control Amendment Bill ‘invitation for criminals to kill us off’

Demonstrators outside Parliament on Saturday said the Bill – in its current form – was flawed as it impedes the constitutional and humanitarian rights of citizens to defend themselves.

Lobby groups rallying against the Firearms Control Amendment Bill have marched to Parliament in Cape Town on 19 June 2021. Picture: Eyewitness News/ Lizell Persens

CAPE TOWN – Protesters rallying against the proposed ban on firearm ownership for self-defence handed over their memorandum of demands during a demonstration outside Parliament on Saturday.

The Civilian Secretariat for Police Service has recently called for public comment on the Firearms Control Amendment Bill that seeks to remove self-defence as a reason to own a firearm.

Demonstrators said the Bill – in its current form – was flawed as it impedes the constitutional and humanitarian rights of citizens to defend themselves.

Biker group, Ride to Freedom's Brent van der Westhuizen said: “We believe in the right to own a firearm for the purpose of self-defence. We believe that anyone that wants to remove that right, wants to take away the freedom of self-defence as well as the freedom to choose. We believe that that we have the right to defend our right to own firearms for the purpose of self-defence, and we will use every patriotic avenue to maintain that right.”

READ: Lobby groups march against Firearms Cntrol Amendment Bill in Cape Town today

Debbie Els from the Stop Farm Murders and Attacks Movement said criminality in the country would thrive.

“We cannot allow them to pass this Bill, it will be an invitation to the criminals and terrorists to come and kill us off. We might as well say ‘here we are guys, come and kill us’, because that is what our government is doing now.”

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The City of Cape Town's JP Smith accepted the memorandum of demands.

“Proposing this, we think it’s a fundamental problem if the police are not in the position to protect the citizenry and you then deny or deprive the public of their right of that opportunity that they have now to effect that self-defence. The police budget is going to be significantly decreased over the next three years, and difficult and challenging as our current situation is now, it is unlikely to get better.”

The public has until 4 July to comment on the Bill.

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