WELCOME TO SOUTH AFRICAN GUNOWNERS’ ASSOCIATION
SAGA's Response to the ANC Media Statement of 30 October 2014
The South African Gunowners’ Association fully agrees with any and all measures to remove firearms from illegal possession. After all, this is one of the objectives of the Firearms Control Act, No. 60 of 2000. SAGA, however, disagrees that any measures aimed at the reduction of firearms in the hands of the law abiding will contribute significantly to a reduction in violent crime. Criminals source their firearms from legal owners, the police and military and they make their own. Not only should the police focus their attention on the reduction of unlicensed firearms (this might be difficult since they are already over-burdened and under-resourced), civil society should take responsibility to become obedient to the law. Plain and simply there is too much civil disobedience among our people. People must learn to respect human beings and the law. Unfortunately it seems that some people have no such respect.
Law abiding citizens have the right to choose their involvement in legal activities – this is the result of our constitutional dispensation, something we fully support. The Firearms Control Act provides limited circumstances under which people may possess firearms, e.g. (i) self-defence; (ii) hunting; (iii) sport shooting; and (iv) as collectors. All these people undergo very strict procedures to become competent and to obtain licences. They further need to maintain their status in any particular category since licences need to be renewed after 5 or 10 years. All licence holders are further subject to very strict prescripts, such as the safe storage, and safe and responsible handling of firearms. Collectors, hunters and sports persons usually require larger numbers of firearms than others. The law currently provides that no person may possess more than one handgun or shotgun for self-defence. In any event, all indications show that the bare minimum of crimes are committed by lawful firearm owners.
SAGA is of the view that the call of the ANC is based on sentiment and not on fact and accordingly we reject all calls to further restrict the lawful possession of firearms. While we mourn every death and injury of all victims of crime, we believe that people who commit crimes must be hunted down (legally) and brought to book in accordance with the criminal justice system. People must realize that only they can make a difference to improving the system by being law abiding and by contributing towards improving such system. We must stop blaming instruments of crime. Despite the carnage on our roads no-one calls for the banning of vehicles; despite the many drowning of people no-one calls for the banning of swimming pools or the sea; and so I could carry on. Criminals will always obtain guns or whatever else to commit their atrocities with, while the disarming of the law abiding will merely cause them to become easier targets.
WHAT IS SAGA ABOUT
The South African Gunowners' Association (SAGA) is a non-profit, non-discriminatory organization, whose sole purpose is to represent the interests of all people who embrace the principles of safe and responsible ownership and usage of firearms for sport, recreation, hunting and self-defence.
SAGA is the watchdog that endeavours to safeguard the rights of the South African public by engaging government in discussion regarding firearm related issues and to provide technical assistance and expertise where needed. This is achieved by collecting and disseminating information regarding all aspects of the legitimate use of firearms. This is to enable responsible, non-discriminatory and enforceable legislation that would benefit all South Africans, irrespective of race, colour or creed.
World Forum on Shooting Activities (WFSA)
The World Forum on Sport Shooting Activities (WFSA) is an ECOSOC NGO at United Nations representing over 100 million hunters and sport shooters. We also represent most of the major civilian firearms and ammunition manufacturers. SAGA is a paid up voting member and is represented on the EXCO.
If you want to get in touch with SAGA, just click on Contact.
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