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Cape Town – There is a growing trend around Cape Town for criminals to make their own guns.
In recent weeks, the South Africa Police Service together with Metro Police have been arresting suspects with unusual firearms.
The firearms are home-made by criminals who cannot get access to real guns. The guns are made of metal, elastic rubbers to pull the trigger and plastic for the handling. These guns are usually made of materials that enable them to discharge a bullet or projectile. Only one bullet enters at a time and the gun can be fatal to both the user and victim.
Spokesperson for MEC of Safety and Security Albert Fritz, Wade Seale, said a home-made gun can be regarded as a firearm after a ballistic expert confirmed it fits the requirements as prescribed by Section 1 (xii) of the Firearms Control Act (60 of 2000).
“The requirements include any device manufactured or designed to propel a bullet or projectile through a barrel or cylinder by means of a burning propellant, at a muzzle energy exceeding eight joules and or a device manufactured or designed to discharge rim-fire, centre-fire or pin-fire ammunition.”
The requirements also include any device which is not at the time capable of discharging any bullet or projectile, but which can be readily altered to be a firearm within the meaning of the above paragraphs and a device manufactured to discharge a bullet or any other projectile of .22 calibre or higher at a muzzle energy of more than eight joules, by means of compressed gas and not by means of burning propellant or barrel, frame or receiver of a device referred above.
“It is a known fact that these firearms have previously led to the death or injuries of persons,” said Seale.
These type of guns are often difficult to trace when used to commit crime.
The anti-gang unit picked up an alleged drug dealer with a home-made gun in his possession in Strand this week. With the fear of the protests in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal spilling over to the Western Cape, more of these guns might be made by criminals.
Earlier this week, some arms and ammunition shops saw an influx of patrons who wanted to protect themselves in case the looting which started in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng spread to the Western Cape.
Community policing forums in affluent areas like Somerset West have also called on residents who own paintball guns to register them. This could be seen as preparation for what might happen as Premier Alan Winde called on all organisations, including CPFs, to work together to protect the province from looting and public violence.
“This is not in anticipation of what is to happen,” said chairperson Billy Smith in a statement on Facebook. The South African National Defence Force has also been deployed to the province.