Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane on Tuessday reassured the public that student l.
Police destroyed over 16000 guns and ammunition at a steel factory in Vereeniging yesterday.
The exercise was part of a campaign by the Gauteng SAPS to remove illegal weapons from unlawful owners.
Deputy provincial commissioner Henriette Bester, said the firearms, which included pistols, automatic and semi-automatic machine guns.
Bester said: "The firearms were confiscated during day-to-day operations by police. We have destroyed over 300000 weapons since 2003.
"Firearms claim victims' lives without regard to gender, colour or age. Many lives have been lost due to the hundreds of illegal firearms in circulation in our province."
Bester said there were numerous cases where children had become victims of people using illegal weapons.
"Members of the police and local communities face serious and violent crime every day of their lives.
"The police cannot function in isolation. We applaud those members of the community who help police to confiscate these illegal weapons," Bester said.
She said the police would continue to remove illegal weapons from the streets.
"Policemen and women will never be discouraged by armed criminals."
Director Jaco Bothma said destroying the weapons was part of police strategy to stop firearms coming into the country. He encouraged licensed firearm owners to comply with the law by renewing their licences.