n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - An analysis of the measures used to control firearms in South Africa : looking back and looking forward

Special Edition 5
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



From a policing point of view, the South African Police Service (SAPS) is the custodian of the Firearms Control Act (FCA) 60/2000. Accordingly, it is their responsibility for its enforcement in order to prevent and control firearm-related crimes. The fluctuations in reported violent and firearms-related crimes over the past two decades, raises a number of questions regarding the effectiveness, impact and prevention measures of the South African legislation on firearms. The aim of this article is to provide insight on how firearms have been policed over the past two decades and to suggest a firearm policing strategy to effectively control firearms in South Africa. The analysis indicates that despite compliance, the FCA experiences its own challenges that need to be continuously addressed. The primary finding of the study suggests that firearms are still not being effectively controlled. Measures, identified by a group of research participants, as well as from the literature, to improve controls are suggested in an effort to close identified gaps in the FCA, enhance enforcement and increase its impact in ensuring responsible firearm ownership.

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