Police Ministry dismisses Black Gun Owners Association's misleadings around firearm ownership
16 Jul 2010
Playing the race card around crime is, by and large, unfortunate.
The Ministry of Police has noted today's public remarks by the Black Gun Owners Association (BGOA) accusing government (Ministry of Police) of refusing their members to own firearms.
They falsely accuse the Department of Police of systematically baring black members when they apply for ownership. Further allegations are that this has resulted the loss of around 10 000 jobs in the past five years, thus they intend to sue the Ministry for R3,2 billion.
The ministry dismisses such bias assertions with contempt. The Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa has established a review and monitoring team, located under Secretariat of Police which assesses the firearms registry process nationally.
At the beginning of August last year, the secretariat began a consultative process with all firearms associations and urged them to make submissions towards the Firearms Control Act. The consultation was also extended during the Firearms Amnesty campaign which ended in 11 April this year.
It is a fact that BGOA has not submitted any proposals or input but instead is taking an ill informed legal stance to address such an issue. Our doors are still widely open and we therefore still urge them, albeit through a public platform, to make the submissions to this office.
"Perhaps instead of marginalising themselves along racial barriers, this organisation needs to look at ways on integrating their programmes with governments. As a departure point, we urge them to support this ministry's ongoing campaign of promoting awareness towards responsible firearms ownership," stated the Minister Mthethwa.
The Firearms Control Act promotes for responsible firearm ownership, irrespective of whether you are black or white. When the ministry promulgates or develops any firearms legislation, some of the aspects that are looked into include age, purposes for which the firearm is sought and one's mental state to own such a firearm.
"The issue of race should therefore not be posed as the key determiner in this case. Playing the race-card around crime is, by and large, unfortunate," added Minister.
It needs to be clearly understood that the war we are waging is towards the criminals, not law abiding citizens. Equally, the Ministry of Police is intent on ensuring that we continuously disarm criminals of firearms, as there is neither a constitutional right nor privilege that guarantees criminals to possess firearms.
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Issued by: South African Police Service
16 Jul 2010
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