Changes to gun control act a scam say owners<br> (was

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Changes to gun control act a scam say owners

Postby GOSA » Thu, 2006-06-22 10:40

Changes to gun control act a scam say owners

THE draft Firearms Control Amendment Bill attempted to divert attention from Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula’s managerial failings, the pro-gun lobby said yesterday.

“The Amendment Bill is nothing but an elaborate scam designed to try to redirect attention from the gross managerial failings of Minister Nqakula,” Thomas Eastes of Gun Owners of South Africa (Gosa) Western Cape said.

At the end of February this year, Nqakula published proposed amendments to the Firearms Control Act (FCA) that would have seen half of it being deleted.

“The outstanding features of those amendments were the concessions to the gun industry.

“The guts would be torn out of the Act to make it easier for the few remaining dealers to do business,” Eastes said.

Nqakula was not “playing Father Christmas out of a sense of charity”, and it was common cause that implementing the Act had been a spectacular failure.

The first step in amending the Act was obvious – audit its implementation to establish how great the damage had been and how much could be salvaged.

“Proof to this effect is on the table in that the administrative process per gun owner can be a high as R20000 inclusive and take as long as two years and still not be acted upon or finalised.

While the Canadian government was announcing the abolition of its Firearms Registration Act – the blueprint for the FCA – and focusing on crime-fighting, South Africa’s cabinet announced it had approved amendments to the Act, which were being sent to Parliament.

“With the exception of four or five sections, all the current Firearm Control Amendment Bill is concerned with is the re-regulation of muzzle loading antique arms,” Eastes said.

The original circumstances that required changing the gun laws were still waiting in the wings.

The collapse in implementation of the FCA had nothing to do with 150-year-old guns or their clones.

Government’s legislative efforts should rather be directed towards crime control and not people control, Eastes said. — Sapa
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