Readers of this blog may find themselves familiar with the recent overreach (and that is an understatement) of Western Cape FLASH, and their intimidation and harassment of firearm dealerships and expired licence card holders in the province. The list of sins committed by this wayward department is a long one. Fortunately for us citizens the SAPS is still very much staffed by dedicated and ethical people, who share our frustrations. Below follows a verbatim message from an anonymous police officer that reached me via a chain of sources. Thank you for taking the time to write this, whomever and wherever you are.
I have read numerous reports about people having problems with the SAPS, especially the DFO or CFR.I totally comprehend and empathise with your plight.
As a private firearm owner I have also dealt with the same issues and frustrations. As a SAPS member this has not given me any special treatment either. Not that I expected any. I wish to be treated as impartially as all firearm applicants.
My issue is as such: as a member of the SAP I am fully aware that a lot of our members are ignorant and inept. Also that key posts such as the DFO are designated by the Station Commander and a lot of people are wrongly placed as they are unfit for that post. A member that could perform the duties is overlooked or simply not even considered which adds to your frustration as well as competent serving members. Do not get me wrong, there are DFO’s that are truly competent and helpful. The unfortunate part is that there are some who are so inept that they automatically put the SAPS and DFOs in a bad light.
There have also been numerous media reports which do not put the SAPS in a good light. The member who shot his colleague whilst cleaning his firearm, the Police Commissioner being investigated for corruption, the seizure of legally owned firearms by 13 cops, etc, etc.
There are members within the SAPS who are still willing to try to make a difference, to do what is right. I personally know of at least two incidents where a SAPS member has refused to seize a firearm due to licence expiry. The problem is that these orders are disseminated to the lower ranks by persons who unfortunately should not be placed in positions of such authority but were appointed anyway due to certain equity prerequisites.
So all I ask if you do feel disgruntled, disappointed, even highly pissed off(rightly so) please acknowledge the fact that it is not the entire SAPS to blame. There are some of us who still wish to ensure a safe and law abiding country. Who believe in the right to legally bear arms.