| 08 December 2011
MEDIA RELEASE BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN HUNTERS AND GAME CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION
DATE: 7 DECEMBER 2011
Hunting body refutes link between firearms and abuse of women and children
The SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association (SAHGCA) strongly refutes allegations and suggestions that privately owned firearms are being used to threaten and commit violence against women and children. `It is a gross generalisation and absolute nonsense,’ said Dr Herman Els, SAHGCA’s manager for hunting and conservation affairs.
SAHGCA’s reaction follows on an article in Die Burger on 7 December, quoting Dr Naeemah Abrahams of the Medical Research Council, who apparently said that the proposed amendments to firearms legislation should be opposed because it would lead to more violence against women and children. Dr Abrahams spoke at a discussion during a 16 day of activism awareness gathering at the Saartjie Baartman Centre.
Els says the kind of person that is likely to intimidate, threaten or assault women and children does not need a firearm for this inexcusable behaviour. `A sweeping and illogical statement such as this one allegedly made by Dr Abrahams, is not helpful to curb violence in our communities.’ He called on the MRC and other authorities to investigate the underlying reasons for violence against women and children in our society, which could help us to understand these violent actions and respond in a constructive and supportive manner.
According to the article in Die Burger, Dr Abrahams said the proposed amendments to the firearms legislation would lower the age for firearm ownership and increase the number of weapons one person would be allowed to own.
`This is not true and her interpretation of the proposed amendments to the Firearms Control Act is completely off the mark. SAHGCA will gladly assist Dr Abrahams with the correct interpretation and implications of the proposed changes,’ SAHGCA said.
SAHGCA has nearly 29 000 members at 67 branches nationwide who are all legal firearm owners that mainly use their firearms for hunting and sport shooting, or as collectors’ items. The Association promotes the safe and responsible use of firearms among its members and the public at large. SAHGCA provides ongoing training in the use of firearms and is the largest SAPS accredited hunting and sport-shooting association in South Africa.