In its resolve to bring down the volumes of serious and violent crimes, the SAPS is intensifying operations to detect and remove illegal firearms and ammunition from the hands of criminals.
This assertion follows the recent destruction of 18 927 firearms on Thursday, 9 February 2023.
Police have in the past twelve months permanently removed 65 519 firearms from circulation.
These are firearms most of which include handguns, rifles and shotguns; as well as firearm parts and combination firearms. These had either been seized during crime prevention and Intelligence-driven operations; voluntarily surrendered; or forfeited to the State during the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 Firearms Amnesty period.
Prior to the recent firearm destruction, 20 590 firearms were destroyed in July 2022, and 26 002 destroyed in March 2022.
The SAPS confirms that all 65 519 firearms were cleared after they had been subjected to ballistic testing to determine if they had possibly been utilised during the commission of any crime.
Of these firearms, the majority of firearms were either surrendered and voluntarily handed over to the state during the 2019/2020 as well as the 2020/2021 Firearms Amnesty period, confiscated and seized by police during intelligence driven operations, routine stop and searches as well as tip-offs from community members that are committed to ensuring that illegal firearms are permanently removed from circulation.
The organization takes this opportunity to commend members of the public for playing a big part in ensuring the safety of the inhabitants of this country, as some of the firearms were recovered as a result of tip-offs from community members.
Illegal firearms pose a threat to the safety and security of the inhabitants of this country. The Service therefore remains confident that destroying these firearms will ensure that they are permanently removed from circulation, and lives spared.