THE NEW FIREARM CONTROL BILL
WHAT IT MEANS TO EVERY SOUTH AFRICAN

The new Firearms Control Bill [Bill B34d-2000] was recently passed through Parliament , and has yet to be signed into law [Ed note: {Act 60 of 2000 has now been signed}]. This brief has been produced to inform people, in simple terms how the new bill is going to affect every law-abiding person in this country.

At the onset, let it be said that this bill was drawn up in the most undemocratic manner, as in the two years it took the for the Ministry of Safety and Security to draw up this bill in secret, the only 'interested party' involved was gun control. Only when the bill was leaked on the Internet were any firearms interest groups allowed any input, and then only minor changes were made as a result of this input.

The purpose of these new laws is to limit the number of licenced firearms, and to make it as difficult as possible for people to acquire licenses, in the mistaken belief that this will reduce the number of illegal firearms.

The full list is over eighty pages long, so here is a summary of laws that will affect the ordinary person;

COSTS OF THE BILL

This is the cost projection that went through Parliament:
Budget over three years R217 million.

The SAPS projected costs of the bill implementation
Years 2000/1 R57,000,000
Years 2001/2 R82,000,000
Years 2002/3 R78,000,000
Total R217,000,000

When the SAPS was questioned about this in the Portfolio Committee meeting the amount disclosed [R217 million] was revealed as additional funding to the already budgeted R882 million and does not include the following: Computer system (CFR), vehicles, new furniture, police station computers and salaries.

The now admitted budget is:

Safety and Security Portfolio Committee disclosed budget
Budgeted R882 million
Computer system (CFR) R120 million estimation
Vehicles R4.2 million.
New furniture R1.2 million
New station computers R0.633 million
Personnel salaries  R5.6 million per year
Projected additional costs R217 million

If this bill is to be implemented, these budget figures are extremely inadequate. To supply each police station with the necessary equipment the budget would look like this:

More realistic figures
Vehicles R84 million
Station computers R12.67 million
Personnel salaries R105.6 million per year

Simple arithmetic will show that it will cost well over ONE BILLION Rand to implement this bill, a rather large sum of money to control 7% of the population, who are law abiding citizens.

At this point in time, it is unclear as to whether existing personnel will be taken off the crime beat to administer the bill, or if new personal will be recruited. Of the 120,000 police officers only about 66,000 are in active service.

It is impossible for the computer system of the Central Firearms Register to handle the work load proposed and even a R120 million upgrade will not satisfy this requirement. The computer system of Central Records is presently known to be inadequate as found by the S. Duncan report.

National Firearms Forum costing of the Bill

STATEMENTS MADE BY GOVERNMENT MINISTERS.

In 1993 Mr. Azar Cachalia stated that it was the policy of the A.N.C. to totally disarm the South African population, but as this would be unacceptable if done at once, a system of incremental restrictions would be imposed with the ultimate goal of complete disarmament of the civilian population.

Steve Tshwete minister of safety and security has made some statements that are cause for concern.

On the 15 of March 2000 when this bill first came up in Parliament, just before he flew into a rage at Douglas Gibson's questioning on the bill, he stated that young people would be discouraged from wanting to own firearms (brainwashing) and that all books, magazines etc. pertaining to firearms would be banned in the country (censorship, vital to propaganda).

Addressing a women's rally he stated that this was the first step towards a totally gun free South Africa, yet in his parliamentary speech he stated that this bill was not aimed at lawful gun owners.

In contrast Muleki George stated that the bill was designed to make it as difficult as possible to own legal firearms, and that the bill was not aimed at criminals as it was pointless to make laws against criminals, as they don't obey laws anyway.

Advocate Louis Kok stated that the bill is not about disarming license holders, it is being falsely portrayed as such.... "we estimate that 500,000 licensed firearms will become forfeit and will have to be surrendered."

COMMENT

As can be seen from the above statements, members of the A.N.C. are not only contradicting each other, but they are contradicting themselves. This, of course is an attempt to allay any fears the public might have, and to justify the passing of this flawed bill.

Steve Tshwete, in his speech to Parliament, called the bill 'well balanced' and 'democratic'. It is none of these things. Only after a public outcry, were the firearm interest groups allowed any input, and as a result, a few minor changes, mainly of a technical nature were allowed, otherwise this entire bill was compiled by people who know nothing about firearms, or the ownership thereof, and it would seem have some hidden agenda that would require the public to be disarmed.

Tshwete said this bill was a "milestone", and it is a milestone, the first move our constitution is making towards the paper shredder.

A point that was stressed was that with most of the violence committed in the country, firearms were involved. This is false, as year after year, most of the murders in this country have been committed with instruments and methods other than firearms, and the violence that he was obviously talking about, committed with unlicensed firearms, which this bill will do nothing to curb. He could of course have meant any violence against criminals committed by intended victims.

The new powers the police will acquire were just glossed over, and to summarise, the entire speech was just a false reassurance in an attempt to give the public a good, warm feeling.

This brief would not be complete without a short description of the radical movement known as Gun Free South Africa. Here we have a small group of fanatics, who's mission it is to completely ban the private ownership of firearms, in other words, the complete disarmament of the public, under the guise of 'concerned citizens', in the mistaken belief that if legally owned firearms are removed, illegal firearms will just disappear. Their hatred of firearms reaches absolute paranoia, and to justify their cause any means will satisfy that end.

Their propaganda efforts involve denigrating any person who is a firearm owner as 'not being normal', and lumping them together with the criminal elements as the perpetrators of gun violence.

Another ploy is number crunching. They will say X number of guns were stolen over a certain period of time, the implication being that these firearms were all stolen from private owners, there is no breakdown. When investigated, if the numbers are correct, one finds that 95% plus were stolen from the police and army and were not the negligent loss of licenced firearms owners.

Emotion plays a large part in their work. One might hear a story along the lines of: .....' Little Myra Freep saw her father shot dead, and now she hates guns.' While we can sympathise with Myra at the loss of her father, there is no mention of the murderer, or any hate she might feel for him/her. The way it is told, it is as if the gun jumped into the person's hand and fired by itself. Again if her father had been killed in a road accident, would she suddenly develop a hatred for vehicles?

'Our research shows that.......' . Whenever one of their number starts with this phrase, one can be assured that the research has been extremely selective to suit the illogical point they are about to make.

Due to the fact that approximately 7% of the population are licensed for firearms, these people will tell you that 93% of people support their movement. This is nonsense, they have little or no local support. They are funded by various radical overseas movements and the British government.

The message that these people are trying to send is that if guns disappear, there will be no robberies, no rape, no murders, all crime will disappear. This is logical?

There is a lot more to this group than what is written here, but to round off let it be said, these people are a band of psychotic busy bodies attempting to inflict their mores on the public at large, and there is NO logical reason for this groups existence.

Lobby groups

ALL LAW ABIDING PEOPLE, THIS IS FOR YOU

Up to now this brief has attempted to demonstrate how the A.N.C. government is busy pushing this draconian bill into law, and obviously it is intended to reduce the number of legal firearms currently owned by the law abiding public, and will affect multiple firearm owners, however this is going to have a ripple effect throughout the whole population.

Those people who own only one firearm, or who fall within the current bill, don't get complacent, this bill is said to be enforced over five years, and you can be guaranteed that each year there will be new amendments, so that over a five year period the A.N.C. will have achieved their goal of complete disarmament.

The people who don't own firearms, who are indifferent, or who perhaps even dislike the things, you are going to be affected too.

First of all, the cost, are you prepared to see well over a BILLION rand be spent to control 7% of the population, when that same amount spent would go a long way towards fighting crime, the REAL crime.

Again EVERY person in this country will be vulnerable to a raid on their homes by the police, WITHOUT a search warrant, supposedly looking for illegal firearms. With the corruption in the service right now, tell me this is not going to be abused.

Remember, Steve Tshwete proclaimed firearms 'not to be property', so the government is not obliged to pay out compensation, if this can be made law, what else can be declared 'NOT PROPERTY'. Vehicles, household effects, houses, the list could be endless. Sounds unbelievable, read on.

From the day the A.N.C. 'took power', one of their policies was and still is the promotion of criminal activity, after all it is common knowledge that criminals have more rights than the law-abiding people, and this has been done with a purpose in mind which will be dealt with presently.

It is a known and proven fact that the more restrictive the firearms laws are in a country, the greater the crime rate, Britain and Australia are experiencing this fact right now, no matter how the respective governments are trying to play it down. So the South African public can expect an increase in crime when these laws start taking a bite.

Why would a government promote crime, well when the crime reaches certain proportions, this will give the A.N.C. the license to pass draconian laws to 'fight crime', just as they have done with these new gun laws, states of emergency will be proclaimed, and then of course they will be able to do exactly as they like.

Just think, the minister of transport might deem it necessary to stop the carnage on our roads, and decide that cutting down on the number of licensed vehicles might be the way to go, and so you might find the public having to justify the vehicles registered in a person's name, and having to 'prove a special need' just to purchase a car or a bakkie.

This is what it could come down to people, a one party draconian socialist state, so you might want to do yourself and your neighbour a favour, if you have read this far, write to the president (all the addresses are below) and ask him NOT to sign this bill into law. Write a post card, a letter, a fax or an E-Mail, give reasons if you like, but WRITE and ask all your friends to do so as well.

President's addresses:

The State President Mr. Thabo Mbeki
Private Bag X100
Cape Town 8000.

Fax: (021) 464-2217

The ANC email address

Mailto: anchq@anc.org.za

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Adapted from a pamphlet by Anton Backman and presented with permission

Copyright 2000 Anton Backman <waxbill@mweb.co.za>

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