The department of police has written to parliament to request an extension on the firearm amnesty period after noticing a sharp decline in voluntary handovers during the lockdown.
Speaking during an update on the levels of compliance and adherence to the Covid-19 lockdown regulations under Level 4, Police Minister Bheki Cele said this decline could be due to the limited mobility under Level 4 and 5 as handing in of firearms is not an essential service.
Firearm amnesty is one of the police department’s many interventions aimed at curbing the proliferation of illegal firearms with the hope of bringing down the serious and violent crimes that may happen as a result of the circulation of these items.
“Since December, firearms and ammunition were handed in their thousands, and then in April, only 385 were handed in. We appreciate the over 16,000 surrendered firearms thus far, including 795 estate firearms, as well as over 140,000 ammunition handed in.”
“With the Firearm Amnesty period about to expire at the end of this month, we have been receiving a number of enquiries on whether or not this will be extended.”
The outcome of the police department’s application will be communicated in due course.
(Compiled by Kaunda Selisho)