Thousands of firearms and ammunition were handed in during the first month of the amnesty period for firearms.
This includes 1,465 firearms and 14,861 bullets. Among the firearms submitted were 1,248 handguns, 76 shotguns and 142 rifles.
The firearm naming period began on December 1 and lasted until the end of May.
“While most firearms were filed for destruction, we received 264 applications for the re-licensing of firearms, the licenses of which are in terms of Art. 28 of the Firearms Control Act expired. This includes 247 handguns (revolvers and pistols), eight shotguns and nine guns, ”said Brig. National Police Commissioner spokesman Vishnu Naidoo said.
Police have urged those illegally in possession of firearms and ammunition to use the amnesty period to hand in weapons without fear of prosecution. Those who hand in a weapon used in the commission of a crime, however, do not receive this waiver.
All weapons handed in undergo ballistic tests before being destroyed.
Naidoo said weapons are stored in nine central storage facilities in each of the provinces. Assigned firearms officers and police officers who underwent rigorous screening were appointed to handle the process.
A detective team will investigate weapons involved in crime.
In November this year, more than 20,000 illegal firearms, firearm parts and ammunition were destroyed.
“We are confident that more people will come forward with illegal and unwanted firearms, given the amount we have already received during the festive season,” Naidoo said.
However, the amnesty is not without controversy. The civil rights group AfriForum has previously expressed concern over the safe keeping of weapons handed in, while the National Hunting and Sport Shooting Association of South Africa (NHSA) has appealed to the court in an attempt to set aside the process.