Which ammunition is illegal in SA?

Photo for illustrative purposes. (Photo: Pixabay)

After some fierce reaction to an article in the Record recently, there seems to be a fair amount of confusion and myths surrounding hollow-point bullets.

The Record spoke to the manager of a well-known firearms shop and shooting range in Roodepoort to clarify matters.

“It is not illegal for the public to purchase and use hollow-point bullets, but the police are not allowed to use them.

There is no sinister reason for this. They are only allowed to use what the State issues them with, which in this case are full metal jacket bullets.

Initial article: Shooting shrouded in mystery

“Another myth is that hollow-point bullets are ‘100 per cent deadly’. No bullet can be guaranteed to be ‘100 per cent deadly’,” he said. He went on to say that dumdums and hollow-point bullets are one and the same.

Is there any ammunition of which possession/ use is illegal for both the public and police in South Africa?

“Yes, two kinds – armour-piercing bullets and incendiary bullets. The first is illegal for obvious reasons as it can penetrate a bullet-proof vest. Incendiary ammunition is illegal because it contains a compound that burns rapidly and causes fires,” he concluded.

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Riaan van Zyl

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