South Africa: "Hunt for 200 000 missing firearms"


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cuchulainn
April 10, 2003, 12:45 PM
from the Independent Online

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=15&art_id=vn20030410103150868C258453&set_id=1Hunt for 200 000 missing firearms

April 10 2003 at 10:31AM

By Johan Schronen

At least 20 000 Capetonians who have died are still listed as gun owners - and police now want to know where these firearms are.

National police spokesman Andrew Lesch said more than 200 000 guns were registered in the names of dead people countrywide, according to the police national firearms register.

Lesch said they were to close in on private individuals, bank managers and attorneys who had been appointed as executors of estates and who had failed to make sure that firearms which belonged to people who died, were sold or transferred to their heirs.

The shocking scenario of more than 200 000 unaccounted-for firearms - many feared to be in the hands of criminal elements - came to the fore as Operation Sethumya, a national police initiative designed to create proper gun control in South Africa, entered its second week.

Lesch said Operation Sethumya kicked off on April 1 and was set to last three months.

He said 2,15 million people in the country were licensed to possess 3,7 million firearms.

When state departments, security companies and dealers were added to the list, 5,7 million legal weapons were in circulation.

The figure excluded police and the South African National Defence Force, whose firearms were not required to be licensed.

Operation Sethumya is aimed to sensitise gun owners about the Firearms Act, but is also expected to cover other aspects of gun control.

Lesch said when new firearms legislation was promulgated in parliament later this year, gun owners would be required to undergo competency tests every five years.

He said the competency tests would help expose legal owners of guns who had developed drug, alcohol or other personal problems which could render them unfit to possess a firearm.

"Sethumya is an intelligence-driven operation also designed to expose flaws in the firearm control system employed by police.

"But its primary focus is to expose illegally owned guns and create firearm awareness and responsibility with legal gun owners.

"But for now we are busy with the mammoth task of tracing 200 000 guns belonging to deceased estates which are in the hands of people we have no record of," Lesch said.

©2003

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4v50 Gary
April 10, 2003, 12:48 PM
That'll make the next massacre difficult. Darn it.

Oleg Volk
April 10, 2003, 02:28 PM
Here's an illustration of why (http://www.defense-training.com/quips/2001/5June01.html) having unregistered guns is important and why proponents of gun control should be treated no differently from convicted mass murderers (i.e. imprisoned or executed as soon as they ACT on their views).

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