The FCA has not saved lives, and is a waste of time and money

The following is copied verbatim off GunSite South Africa and paints a pretty damning picture of GFSA. It proves them to be nothing more than outright liars. If they can’t be trusted to be truthful about even the most basic little details, how can anything that they say be considered remotely legitimate? Short answer: they can’t.

Share this far and wide, folks. Let’s set the pesky truth free and hope the media takes notice.

I refer to the attached statement GFSA (downloaded from their website and inserted in case it “disappears”). Attachment 17071 I reference the first paragraph which reads:

Evidence that South Africa’s Firearms Control Act (2000) has saved thousands of lives is being presented today at the University of Oxford. The research, which was published in the March 2014 edition of the reputable American Journal of Public Health, shows that over 4,500 lives were saved from gun violence in five SA cities between 2001 and 2005.

The abstract from the research in question reads as follows:



We assessed the effectiveness of South Africa’s Firearm Control Act (FCA), passed in 2000, on firearm homicide rates compared with rates of nonfirearm homicide across 5 South African cities from 2001 to 2005.


We conducted a retrospective population-based study of 37 067 firearm and nonfirearm homicide cases. Generalized linear models helped estimate and compare time trends of firearm and nonfirearm homicides, adjusting for age, sex, race, day of week, city, year of death, and population size.


There was a statistically significant decreasing trend regarding firearm homicides from 2001, with an adjusted year-on-year homicide rate ratio of 0.864 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.848, 0.880), representing a decrease of 13.6% per annum. The year-on-year decrease in nonfirearm homicide rates was also significant, but considerably lower at 0.976 (95% CI = 0.954, 0.997). Results suggest that 4585 (95% CI = 4427, 4723) lives were saved across 5 cities from 2001 to 2005 because of the FCA.


Strength, timing and consistent decline suggest stricter gun control mediated by the FCA accounted for a significant decrease in homicide overall, and firearm homicide in particular, during the study period.

Now, please note the beginning of the Firearms Control Act of 2000, which I have extracted from Juta’s Statutes (the resource used by almost every lawyer in the country)

(Unless otherwise indicated)
(English text signed by the President)
as amended by
Firearms Control Amendment Act 43 of 2003
Firearms Control Amendment Act 28 of 2006
Civilian Secretariat for Police Service Act 2 of 2011
Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act 6 of 2010
Protection from Harassment Act 17 of 2011
Dangerous Weapons Act 15 of 2013
also amended by
Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act 37 of 2013
[with effect from a date to be proclaimed – see PENDLEX]

Do you notice anything strange here? How can the Firearms Control Act have saved lives between 2001 and 2005 when it only effectively became law on 1 April 2004 and only really began to be implemented by the SAPS during 2005?

In fact, what this tells us is that the Firearms Control Act in fact has probably done nothing at all and that the old Arms and Ammunition Act was probably adequate and that the Firearms Control Act has been nothing more than a waste of time and money… Thank you Gun Free South Africa.

7 thoughts on “The FCA has not saved lives, and is a waste of time and money

  1. FYI: It’s a little bit more complicated than that. You should have scrolled down to section 154 of the Act to see it’s full commencement schedule. There you will see that many sections of the Act were commenced into operation over a period of time (1 Jun 2001, 1 Jun 2003 and finally 1 July 2004). At each stage different sections became operational law in the RSA. The study cited should have tracked efficacy according to various stage/timelines as the Act became operational between 2001 and 2004.


    • I refer to the final paragraph of the drafted FCA of 2000:

      “These Regulations shall be called the Firearms Control Regulations, 2004, and shall, come into operation on the 1st of July 2004. ”

      The claim that a piece of legislation that was not even remotely fully effective until 2005 saved lives between 2000 and 2004 is untruthful. GFSA have built their claim on shaky statistical inference at best, and outright unscientific and biased analysis at worst.

      If they wish to hypothesize that the Act saved X amount of lives, they would at least have to compensate for the fact that numerous variables will provide difficulty in reconciling with the study. This was not done, if you read about the methodology and conduct of the study.

      The entire exercise is thus a complete sham, and statistically inaccurate.

      Or more plainly, a blatant lie.


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