News: 145 arrested during illegal firearm operations

DURBAN The proliferation of illegal firearms in the province remains a priority for police. Innocent lives are lost, whilst serious and violent crimes are being committed by those in possession of illegal firearms. Police in KZN are out in full force embarking on operations aimed at removing illegal firearms in the hands of the criminals.

From 01 to 29 February 2020 police officers across the province arrested 145 suspects who were found in illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. A total of 135 firearms were seized by police during the same period. Among the firearms were seized were 119 pistols; 5 rifles; 7 shotguns and 4 homemade firearms. Police officers also seized 1010 rounds of ammunition during these operations.

During our operations on a daily basis we focus on removing illegal firearms from our communities. Citizens play a vital role by informing police of criminals who are in possession of firearms, said the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula.

The Minister of Police has by means of publication of a notice in the Government Gazette, declared an Amnesty for a period of six (6) months commencing from 1 December 2019 to 31 May 2020. The objectives of the Amnesty is to reduce the large pool of illegal/unwanted firearms, ammunition and/or firearm parts that are in circulation in the country. We once again call on citizens to make use of this amnesty period to surrender illegally possessed or unwanted firearms, ammunition and/or firearm parts to the South African Police Service without fear of being prosecuted for the unlawful possession thereof. We also wish to remind them that there will be no indemnity for those firearms that were found to have been used to commit crimes such as murder, robbery, hijacking etc., he added.

Source: South African Police Service