South Africa | Cape Town protesters want gun control bill scrapped

Protesters at Parliament during the Firearm Freedom March on June 19, 2021 in Cape Town. (Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)

Protesters at Parliament during the Firearm Freedom March on June 19, 2021 in Cape Town. (Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)

A group of protesters took to the streets on Saturday, marching to Parliament in Cape Town to demand that the Firearm Control Amendment Bill of 2021 be scrapped.

The organiser of the Firearm Freedom Run march, Brent van der Westhuizen, said gun owners would be left vulnerable to criminals should the bill be passed in the National Assembly.

"We are against this bill. The police cannot contain crime as it is, civilians are legally protecting themselves against criminals and their licences will be taken away because of this bill. Many of our people in the country feel the same … there is no logic in this bill," he added.

The City of Cape Town's mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, received the memorandum.

He said his party, the DA, was not in support of the bill.

Smith also criticised the government for "reducing the police budget but increasing the VIP protection budget".

"We are trying to mobilise support around this matter. The police are not able to support citizens and then deny the public the opportunity to effect self-defence."

"We cannot consider supporting this legislation … if you are a Member of Parliament and are considering supporting this legislation, you must never again expect government to protect you, don't expect armed protection when you expect the citizens to be without that same protection afforded to you … let's see how confident you will do your job without armed protection," he said.

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 19: Protesters at p

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 19: Protesters at parliament during the Firearm Freedom march on June 19, 2021 in Cape Town, South Africa. It is reported that there has been an outcry from interest groups against firearms control amendment bill aimed to scrap gun ownership for self-defence. (Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)

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The draft bill seeks to remove self-defence as a reason to own a gun in South Africa. This has led to an outcry from the public and gun owners who complained such a move would leave civilians defenceless against violent criminals.

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