Sonke’s position is that firearm ownership needs to be reduced. This can be achieved by making firearms difficult to get or access.
We believe this can be achieved through:
- effective enforcement of the Firearms Control Act,
- an effective firearms registry,
- strict adherence to licensing provisions, and
- regular amnesties to get firearms off the street and out of the hands of illegal firearm users.
Men represent the vast majority of firearm owners. Too often, men use firearms in destructive ways to prove their manhood with devastating consequences for their intimate women partners, their children, for other men, and sometimes for themselves.
Firearm ownership does not decrease vulnerability to armed violence; instead it often increases it – those who own firearms are more likely to be victims of firearm violence than those who do not.
Sonke believes that firearm control laws should attempt to delink notions of manhood with firearm ownership, and promote norms that do not make firearm possession a sign of power and masculinity.
23 June 2011
Sonke has made a submission to parliament on the proposed Firearms Control Amendment Bill. Our submission focuses on:
- Limiting the number of licences available for occasional sport shooting and occasional hunting;
- Creating stricter regulations for approval of firearms as collector’s items;
- Limiting the number of licences available that private collectors can obtain;
- Instituting compulsory training for firearm licence applicants and officials that incorporates gender specific messages and makes clear the negative impacts of firearms;
- Protecting the independence of the Designated Firearms Officers.
- Aligning the Bill with the Domestic Violence Act 116 of 1998 by ensuring that any person who has a final protection order issued against him or her is declared unfit to possess a firearm and preventing them from reapplying for a licence or permit in future.