GUNS UNDER FIRE: Initial results of the 2005 firearms amnesty

  • Adèle Kirsten Institute for Security Studies
Keywords: firearms, firearm amnesty, South Africa


On 1 January 2005 government launched the largest ever firearms amnesty. By 31 March 50,233 firearms had been surrendered. Due to public demand, the amnesty was extended to 30 June. This article assesses the impact of the first three months of the amnesty. Although media coverage focused on the illegal weapons handed in, the nearly 28,000 licensed guns surrendered represent just over one year’s supply of lost guns that will now not enter the illegal market. And considering the widespread use of handguns in violent crime, the removal of over 43,000 handguns from circulation represents a substantial victory.

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