Are SA's gun laws strict enough to protect us?

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has vowed to change the country's firearm laws in response to Friday's attacks on two Christchurch mosques, that left 49 people dead.

READ: Death toll in Christchurch mosques attack rises

Africa speaks to Advocate Jackie Nagtegaal about South Africa's gun laws in the wake of the massacre.

Nagtegaal, the managing director of Law For All, says that, from a legal perspective at least, the laws provide a lot to protect us.

We have very strict regulations when it comes to gun ownership. Just recently the Constitutional Court ruled again last year that owning a gun is not a right but a privilege.

Jackie Nagtegaal, Advocate and MD - Law for All

There has been research done to show that since we enacted the Firearm Control Act in 2000 how gun deaths went down for a period of ten years after that regulation.

Jackie Nagtegaal, Advocate and MD - Law for All

You firstly have to undergo training before you can get a gun and then you have to apply for a firearm license. There are strict requirements that you must be a permanent resident or a citizen, you must be at least twenty-one years of age, you must be mentally stable and fit and they do a background check. You can't have a criminal record and you can't have any addiction problems.

Jackie Nagtegaal, Advocate and MD - Law for All

But Nagtegaal does identify one serious problem that makes South Africa fall short.

I think the South African problem is the corruption and illegal firearms.

Jackie Nagtegaal, Advocate and MD - Law for All

A mass shooting like in New Zealand, 49 people who died, and if you consider in South Africa we have 57 people die every day, most of them of gun deaths. To put it in perspective these mass things are radical, and it brings a conversation home but South Africa almost has these mass shootings every day, just spread out over the country.

Jackie Nagtegaal, Advocate and MD - Law for All

Most of these are illegal firearms and there is no control over them and I don't think Saps has enough resources and things in place to control that, which is where our problem lies.

Jackie Nagtegaal, Advocate and MD - Law for All

Listen to the rest of the sobering conversation below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Are SA's gun laws strict enough to protect us?


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