News: 368 Illegal firearms seized during crime operations

DURBAN Targeted firearm operations conducted by various police stations in the province during the month of January 2020 resulted in the seizure of 368 firearms.

The proliferation of illegal firearms has a negative impact in our communities. Lives are lost whilst serious and violent crimes are committed with these illegal firearms. A special focus of the provinces crime fighting operations is aimed at eradicating the scourge of illegal firearms in KwaZulu-Natal.

Operations conducted over the past month netted 232 suspects who were arrested for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. A total of 368 firearms were seized by police officers from various stations and units across the province during January. Amongst the 368 firearms recovered were 293 were pistols/revolver; 21 home-made firearms; 6 automatic firearms; 33 rifles and 15 shotguns. During the same period police officers seized 8324 rounds of ammunition of various calibre. In these operations police also seized 220 firearm components such as barrels; magazines and silencers. All these firearms are subjected to ballistics tests to link those arrested to crimes committed in the province.

The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula commended police officers across the province for their commitment towards removing illegal firearms from our communities. Whilst the number of firearms seized by police is encouraging, we still have a lot of work to do in ridding the province of illegal firearms. Citizens are reminded that a firearm amnesty has been declared for a period of six (6) months commencing from 1 December 2019 to 31 May 2020 and those who wish to surrender firearms in their possession should make use of this opportunity to do so, he said.

A person who surrenders their firearm during this amnesty period may apply for a licence for that firearm provided that they comply with the provisions of the firearm control act. Only the person who physically surrenders the firearm to a Designated Amnesty Official may apply for a licence in respect of that firearm, he added.

Source: South African Police Service