Briefing 3 of 2019 was issued on 9 July, which has been declared by the UN as #GunDestructionDay, making it the official date for the destruction of small arms worldwide.

On 9 July, as on every other day, 23 people will be shot and killed across South Africa. The vast majority of these deaths will not be reported on as they are not newsworthy.

It takes a mass shooting, as happened on the 6-7 july weekend in Philippi East on the Cape Flats – when 11 people were shot dead, including 6 women in a single incident – for a shooting to make the news.

Guns are now the leading cause of murder in South Africa, replacing knives.

But this wasn’t the case: Violent crime, particularly murder but also attempted murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances, decreased between 2000 and 2009 as various gun control initiatives were undertaken nationally.

In his State of the Nation address on 20 June this year, President Ramaphosa identified five “fundamental goals” to be achieved in the next 10 years. One of these is that “violent crime will be halved, if not eliminated.”

Firearms Control Briefing 3 of 2019, which uses a public health model to identify risk and protective factors for violence. We believe it is a useful and practical guide to break the chain of violence and help halve crime in South Africa.

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