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Surrender deceased’s firearms or dispose of them procedurally


Media Statement
South African Police Service
Office of the Provincial Commissioner KwaZulu-Natal

DURBAN – Police in KwaZulu-Natal are reminding holders of licensed firearms to store their weapons in accordance with the law and ensure that no other person has access to such firearms. The next of kin of deceased persons who owned firearms are also urged to timeously inform the police that the owner has passed on and the police will outline the procedure on how to retain the firearm or dispose of it legally.

This call is resultant from an incident in which a 14-year-old boy was shot and fatally wounded by his 15-year-old brother at Stanger Manor in KwaDukuza on Monday evening. Three teenage brothers, aged 11, 14 and 15 years old were reportedly in the house when the eldest brother found a firearm. It is reported that as they were playing with the gun, a shot went off and fatally wounded the 14-year-old. Investigations have already begun into the circumstances that led to the children getting hold of the firearm, which reportedly belonged to a deceased family member. Incidents of this nature could be prevented if the next of kin of deceased persons remove the risk by informing police about the existence of such firearms.

A person who inherits a firearm has options to either donate the firearm by nominating or offering it to a family member or any person, provided that such a person is in compliance with the law and possesses a licence to own such a firearm. Deceased person’s firearms can also be handed over or sold to a registered firearm dealer or an individual or be surrendered to the South African Police Service (SAPS) for destruction. Heirs of the deceased person’s firearms may alternatively apply for the deactivation of the firearm with the SAPS.

Ignorance of the law is never an excuse and anyone who is found to have failed to execute their legal responsibilities will be met with the wrath of the law. Following the incident cited above, a 15-year-old was subsequently arrested and has already appeared in the children’s court.  


Colonel Robert Netshiunda
082 569 7629