GOSA Media Release 2013-07-12
Gun Owners SA is unsurprised and alarmed that our fears regarding the Firearms Control Act and it's disastrous implementation have been realized. When GunFree South Africa started pushing their internationally failed model, based on the rejected and repealed Canadian Long-gun Registry, with the intention of exercising influence on the fledgling new South African government, we warned that this was an expensive and dangerous path to follow.
The concept was so critically flawed that its implementation was doomed from the outset. GFSA persuaded the government that we were reactionary and confrontational and should be ignored. Now, having had two successive heads of the Central Firearms Registry involved in alleged controversial dealings (the latest facing a raft of corruption allegations from several sources), with dozens of senior officers also implicated in serious offenses, and with critical elements of the CFR backbone yet to be implemented, even the most adamant supporters of the ruling party are conceding that the FCA was a mistake.
The Minister has had to intervene several times to attempt to set matters right but crisis management is never a winning strategy. It is time to face the facts.
It is clear that the FCA is unworkable. A dual licensing system is absurd and unnecessary - first the prospective firearm owner is 'licensed' by way of training and testing, then a separate,technically fraught licensing of every firearm to that already eligible owner is processed. SAPS, with good intention but minimal training and skills, have been handed this tedious task to administer, notwithstanding that there is no enabling legislation requiring, nor empowering, them to create this complex bureaucracy in the first place.
With these complications, and in an effort to manage the expectations of millions of applicants, our police service has predictably and understandably fallen short. Administrative shortcomings and alleged rampant corruption have emerged. In some instances it appears that criminals have sought to subvert the controls in order to acquire whichever firearms they require. Recent revelations are that persons involved in the trade have resorted to bribing officials in order to grease the wheels of this broken-down machinery.
That the machinery has broken down is not new or surprising at all. It was designed to be that way! This, then, is the legacy foisted upon us by GunFree South Africa.
GunFree South Africa cajoled a naive and well-intentioned government into accepting their credentials and their deliberately unworkable plan. In a treasonous act of sabotage their researchers fiddled with the Firearm Registry's database to precipitate a crisis with the intention of calling for its closure when the expected breakdown ensued.
It is time for a new approach. It is time for the government to start heeding the calls of law abiding citizens and taxpayers - the millions of legal firearms owners, their voters.
Gun Owners SA proposes, in the spirit of democracy, that we engage with Government in this new approach. We offer our research and expertise in an effort to work together to create a system that works for all those involved.
Gun Owners South Africa