The Democratic Alliance (DA) says, so far, 50 000 people have signed its petition against the proposed Firearms Control Amendment Bill.

The draft bill would – if it were to become law – prohibit the awarding of firearm licenses for self- defence purposes.

It would also restrict the number of firearms individuals can own for sport and hunting.

The DA says it strongly opposes the Bill and has called for more people to sign its petition.

Reaction to proposed changes to the Firearms Control Act:

DA Spokesperson on Police, Andrew Whitfield, says a legal handgun is the last line of defence for millions of South Africans.

“The DA believes that the firearms control amendment bill is one of the most draconian pieces of legislation that we’ve seen in a very long time. Specifically the bill intends to remove self-defence as a reason to own a firearm.”

“The DA believes that in such a violent society like South Africa, this is completely irrational and unreasonable. The DA is also concerned about the impact on the sport shooting fraternities as well as private security and the limitations of the bill will impose on them,” explains Whitfield.

The Congress of the People (COPE) is also against the Bill and says it will mobilise other opposition parties against it.

Party Spokesperson, Dennis Bloem, says all South Africans have the right to defend themselves.

“This amendment is disgraceful and completely madness. The bill does not make any sense to say that no firearm license may be issued for self-defence suppose. It is very clear that this government is not taking the lives of its citizens serious. Criminals with illegal firearms will terrorise law abiding citizens more than ever before,” explains Bloem.

Government says the proposed law will help reduce crime: