By: Teresa Mull
South Africa is a dangerous country; it’s been listed as one of the most violent and dangerous places on earth, according to the Global Peace Index. The U.K. government website warns tourists to travel only with a tour guide, noting, “South Africa has a high level of crime, including rape and murder.”
As the violence and cases of civil unrest get worse, the South African government is moving to make its citizens even more defenseless by passing the “Firearms Control Amendment Bill,” which would remove “self-defense” as a valid reason to possess a firearm.
But fed-up South Africans are making their voices heard.
“With the deadline for public comment on the Firearms Control Amendment Bill approaching, thousands of South Africans have made their voices heard regarding the proposed bill,” reports Herald Live. “TimesLIVE ran a poll recently asking if banning civilians from using firearms in self-defence was the right move. The poll garnered over 9,000 votes with 96.6 percent of voters saying no to the move.”
South Africa’s police ministry spokeswoman said they’ve received more than 60,000 written comments in response to the proposed law, which she says is “unprecedented.”
South Africa’s gun laws are already extremely stringent, which likely led to much of the current violence we see destroying the country now. According to the Library of Congress, in South Africa:
“…[A] separate license must be issued for every firearm and applicants must obtain a competency certificate. To do so, an applicant should, among other things, be a ‘fit and proper person’ with no recent conviction for certain crimes, be stable, and not have a proclivity for violence. Other requirements vary depending on the type and purpose of the specific license sought. For instance, a person wishing to obtain a license to possess a firearm for self-defense is required to demonstrate a need for the weapon and inability to achieve protection through other means. In addition, an eligible individual may obtain only one license of this class, which must be renewed every five years.”
Let us pray South Africans are able to maintain their right to defend themselves with a firearm and that the United States learns from the missteps of our fellow countries.
Teresa Mull (firstname.lastname@example.org) is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.