n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - The impact of firearms' control on the South African private security industry

Volume 21, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



The control of firearms and their proper use in private security services in South Africa have for many years been problematic, particularly within the context of inter alia high levels of violent crime, growth in such security services as armed response and incidence of cash-in-transit heists, bank and house robberies. Underlying this fundamental issue is the fact that registered security officers / practitioners in South Africa are legally (with some limitations) allowed to carry firearms in their line of work. In-house and contract company controls over firearms, their use, issuing and storage have traditionally been lax. Exploitation and abuse of this situation has for many years been rife. However, with the passing of the stricter firearm controls with the promulgation of the new Firearms Control Act (No. 60 of 2000) (FCA) and the implementation of the supporting regulations as from 1 July 2004, the private security companies in South Africa found themselves subject to stricter controls, not only in use but also for training, competency testing and licensing requirements. This article traces these regulatory issues pertaining to control measures applicable to the Private Security Industry, and explores some of the problems encountered in implementing fully the legislative and regulatory firearm controls requirements.

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