How serious is the issue of illegal firearms? The recent seizure of dozens of guns from a Cape Town shop, has again raised the issue. Gun Free South Africa says weapons like these are everywhere.
CAPE TOWN - The recent seizure of dozens of guns from a Cape Town store has brought the issue of illegal firearms to the fore.
The Hawks, in a joint operation, made some inroads in Cape Town where a search and seizure operation delivered 92 firearms believed to be in the illegal possession of a gun shop.
Investigations are ongoing and no arrests have been made.
Similar operations last year saw 184 guns in Cape Town and Gauteng being confiscated.
This latest seizure includes two AK47-type assault rifles, two bolt action rifles, one hand machine carbine HMC, one shotgun, 52 pistols and 34 revolvers.
Captain Philani Nkwalase, the Hawks provincial spokesperson, said, "some of these firearms, the automatic rifles, you will find being used in cash-in-transit heists, so really, they should not be in ordinary people's hands."
Nkwalase says these weapons possibly belong to deceased owners as the shop where they were found couldn't produce the necessary paperwork.
He says there is a definite market for illegal guns in South Africa.
Claire Taylor, a senior researcher for Gun Free SA, said, "there is a myth in South Africa that the police are the biggest source of illegal guns in South Africa they aren't.
"By far, the biggest source of illegal guns in South Africa is civilian gun owners, who lose on average 24 guns every day in this country."
On Thursday, 30,000 confiscated firearms will be destroyed in Vereeniging.