n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - The struggle to legislate for stricter gun control measures and the South African Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000

Volume 19, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



Although it had been a stated intention of the new government as early as June 1994 to deal with the proliferation of firearms in the country, particularly illegal firearms, a number of issues delayed the implementation of this intention. This article traces this struggle to legislate for stricter gun control measures, a process which essentially turned out to be a lengthy and often acrimonious period of public consultation and debate. Although this culminated in the new Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000 being passed in Parliament in October 2000 and assented to and passed into law by the President on 4 April 2001, this was not the end of the legislative process as it took almost another four years for the supporting regulations to be finalised. These eventually came into effect on 1 July 2004. The resulting Act and Regulations were, to a certain extent, a piece of legislation where concessions and compromises from both sides of the so-called "gun debate" (pro-gun lobby and gun-control activists) were made. However, the consensus of opinion from legislators and observers was that the Act, in fact, was one containing stricter gun control measures than many similar pieces of legislation elsewhere in the world.

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