Some of the recovered firearms are a result of tip-offs from the community or the firearms amnesty period
Police have removed more than 65,000 firearms from circulation while nearly 19,000 were destroyed last week.
In the past 12 months, 65,519 firearms have been removed from circulation. These include handguns, rifles and shotguns as well as firearm parts and combination firearms. 18,927 of these were destroyed by police last Thursday.
These firearms were either confiscated during crime prevention operations or voluntarily surrendered or forfeited to the state during the firearms amnesty period between 2019 and 2021, said police spokesperson Brig Athlenda Mathe.
Mathe said the 65,519 firearms were cleared after undergoing ballistic tests to determine if they had been used during the commission of a crime.
“Before the recent firearm destruction, 20,590 firearms were destroyed in July 2022 and 26,002 destroyed in March 2022.”
Some of the firearms were recovered as a result of tip-offs from the community, which SAPS commends the public for.
“In its resolve to bring down the volumes of serious and violent crimes, the SAPS is intensifying operations to detect and remove illegal firearms and ammunition from the hands of criminals.”
“Illegal firearms pose a threat to the safety and security of the inhabitants of this country. The service therefore remains confident that destroying these firearms will ensure that they are permanently removed from circulation and lives spared,” Mathe said.