Citation(s) from the literature library

Taylor, Claire. 2019 ‘Licensed Guns - There Are Fewer Civilian Guns and Gun Owners.’ Gun Control & Violence: South Africa's Story, pp. 19 - 20. Johannesburg: Gun Free South Africa. 1 December

Relevant contents

There are fewer civilian guns

In 1999 there were 2,027,411 individual gun owners (Chetty, 2000). By 2015 this dropped 14% to 1,749,034 individuals (Phiyega, 2015). Additional information on the number of civilian gun owners in South Africa can be found in the section titled Record-keeping on page 55 below.

There are fewer guns owned by civilians

In 1999 civilians owned 3,554,366 guns – 78% of all firearms licensed in South Africa (Chetty, 2000). In 2014 individuals owned 2,990,256 guns – 68% of all guns in South Africa (Wits School of Governance, 2015).

There are fewer licensed handguns but more long guns.

In 1999 there were 2,784,420 licensed handguns (pistols and revolvers) and 1,740,114 long guns (rifles and shotguns) registered to both state and non-state actors (Chetty, 2000). By 2014 these numbers had changed; handgun ownership dropped 22% to 2,164,322 while long gun ownership rose 21% to 2,192,898, showing that long guns have replaced handguns (Wits School of Governance, 2015).


Chetty, Robert. 2000. Firearm Use and Distribution in South Africa. Pretoria: The National Crime Prevention Centre.

Phiyega, Riah (National Police Commissioner). 2015. Implementing the Firearms Control Act. Presentation made at the National Firearms Summit, Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, 24-25 March.

Wits School of Governance Public Safety Programme. 2015. Analysis of the Firearms Control Act on Crime (1999 to 2014). Report commissioned by the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service. Johannesburg: University of the Witwatersrand.

ID: Q14109

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