South African police on Thursday destroyed 22, 999 firearms in Johannesburg which were used to commit crimes in various parts of the country.
The firearms were smelted so that they do not fall into the wrong hands and are used to commit crimes, police said.
The destroyed firearms included shotguns, revolvers/pistol and rifles. Included in the destroyed firearms were the 3, 156 from the police which were obsolete and not serviceable.
“The destruction of the firearms will go a long way to ensure that people live in a safe and secure environment. We want to work with the society to ensure that there are no illegal firearms in our communities,” said Acting National Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane.
He also encouraged gun owners to observe rules guiding gun ownership like licence renewals after every five years.
Lobbying and Advocacy Director at Gun Free South Africa, Adele Kirsten, welcomed the destruction of firearms which she said are causing physical and psychological damage to the South African society.
She said the destruction shows that the country is serious about a gun free society.
Guns kill the active citizens who contribute positively to the economy of the country and also kill breadwinners, Kirsten said.
She said, “Last year government hospitals spent over six billion rand (about 432 million US dollars) to treat 20, 000 people who were shot.
“We support the destruction of the firearms and want a gun free society where everyone will feel safe. In this country 16 people are shot everyday,” said Kirsten.
Vernon Smith, Deputy President of the Gauteng Provincial Community Police Board, said the move will prevent firearms from being used to commit crimes.