Crime statistics for January to March 2022 confirm that violent crime in South Africa continues to rise.

In this context of high levels of crime, a weak criminal justice system, proposed amendments to tighten gun controls (including banning guns for self-defence), as well as forceful marketing by the firearms industry that guns are effective for self-defence, we can expect gun sales to increase.

This briefing summarises available research on the impact of firearms for self-defence on public safety, including a new South African study showing that while robbery-homicide is relatively rare, the increased risk of being killed in a robbery can be linked to victims who are older white men and to the likelihood that victims are armed and resist attack.

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