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To arm or not to arm – the SA gun debate

May 26, 2021

By Zuleikha Ahmed


Gun ownership is an emotional topic. The recent firearms control amendment bill, aimed to scrap gun ownership for self-defence, has South Africans questioning whether citizens will be safer if armed.

Paul Oxley, Chairperson of Gun Owners SA, and Claire Taylor, Director of Guns Free SA, spoke to Radio Islam, providing insight on what to expect should the law be approved. 

If signed into law, the draft bill released on Friday could bar South African citizens from obtaining a gun licence for self-defence and hunting, seeing many South Africans losing their rights to the license.

Taylor stated that this could be better for the government as it would prioritise public safety and interest over individual rights, whilst Paul Oxley’s opinion was a bit different. He says it could be a peak of idiocy in a country like South Africa, which holds a considerable amount of illegal and legal firearms, and could even be contrary to our constitutional right.

With two differing views — ownership of a gun could put families in danger as criminals targeted gun-owners, and the flip side of the coin, that when properly licensed, stored and placed in the hands of trained individuals, guns kept people protected and safe. The primary concern was that the right to self-defence being usurped if the bill was approved. 

Listen to the interview here.




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