2007-09-20 : Press Release : SAPS Firearm losses 2006/07

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2007-09-20 : Press Release : SAPS Firearm losses 2006/07

Postby GOSA » Fri, 2007-09-21 06:48

Dear Editor

I am hoping you will find interest in the recent statistics on firearm losses by the SAPS as published on IOL - 18 September 2007. See included article.

Article Start

SAPS lose 3 856 firearms 2006/2007

The police lost over 1 500 more firearms during the past financial year than they did during the one before, says the Auditor General. In an audit contained in the SA Police Service 2006/7 annual report, he found 3 856 firearms were reported "lost, stolen or robbed from personnel throughout the country" during the 12 months up to March 31 this year. In 2005/6, a total of 2 297 firearms were reported having gone missing in this manner. The AG also said firearm control registers were not properly maintained by the police in six provinces, but did not specify which. Further, "bi-annual firearms inspections were not always performed". The audit also found "inventory differences" to the tune of R18, 7-million between what the police actually had in their stores and what was shown on their computer system. This was based on test counts carried out at 18 inventory stores around the country. - Sapa

Article Ends

Press Release

GOSA (Gun Owners South Africa) would like to express its extreme concern on the publishing of the firearm losses by the SAPS over the last year.

We have around 120 000 members in the SAPS and on average only 85% carry arms (15% desk-bound and do not require firearms to execute duties) That translates to 0.037% of all firearms owned by the SAPS was lost in the last year alone. Estimated replacement value of R2000 apiece is R7 7120 000 of taxpayer’s money. One wonders how many children could have been educated or lives saved with this kind of money.

On average it is accepted that there are 2 500 000 licensed firearm owner in South Africa owning around 3 900 000 firearms. Included in this figure are state departments and security. (Remember AK47's used in Shell House massacre? Wonder what happened to the AK's and the shooters?) It is estimate that only 70% of all licensed firearms are in the hands of Joe Soap for self-protection, sport shooting, and collection, trading and hunting. If the "statistical figure" of 20 000 lost firearms per year is correct, then 14 000 firearms are proportionally lost, stolen or robbed from 1 750 000 firearm owners and is around 0.008% of the total only.

If we analyse the statistics of negligent loss, not stolen as well as crimes committed by Joe Soap with legal firearms, we have statistics that are totally insignificant. What does it say bottom line? The SAPS which is "responsible" for the enforcing of the rule of law, expected to control legal firearms in civilian hands and also keep record thereof is now known to lose firearms at a rate nearly 5 times more per year than the citizens that pay their salaries and entrust their lives to the SAPS. With crime so out of control, it is of great concern that so many of the SAPS' supposedly lost firearms turn up at crime scenes and lives are ended so abruptly by their negligence.

The questions that now have to be asked are:
How can the SAPS who lose firearm at a rate nearly five times higher than licensed firearm owners be put in charge of enforcing the Firearm Control Act (FCA 60 of 2000)?
How can the SAPS who can't even keep a register of their own firearms be put in charge of a licensed firearm owner register?

Best Regards
Thomas F. Eastes
National Chairman GOSA
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