Validity of Old Green Licences (issued under 1969 Act)
Date: Vol 11-27
VOL. 11 (27) - 11-12-2015
THE CONTENTS OF THIS NEWSLETTER IS NO LONGER VALID - SEE NEWSLETTER VOL. 12 (25)
VALIDITY OF GREEN LICENCES (ISSUED UNDER THE 1969 ACT)
The so-called old green licences issued in terms of the 1969 Arms and Ammunitions Act, are still valid. People who possess firearms under such a licence thus possess such firearms completely legally. This is the result of the outcome of the well known SA Hunters case against the Minister of Police (Safety and Security at the time).
BUT IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE FIREARMS FOR WHICH YOU HAVE WHITE LICENCES UNDER THE 2000 ACT ARE NOW ALSO LEGAL WITH GREEN LICENCES
(Note: one cannot subject oneself to the Firearms Control Act (Act 60 of 2000) and hold so-called white licences under that Act, and then also claim legal ownership under the 1969 Act with the green licence - the legal ownership is now only valid and proven with the white licence)
SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association (SAHGCA) was on 26th June 2009 in the Northern Gauteng Division of the High Court granted an interim interdict against the then Minister of Safety and Security (currently of Police) stating that firearm licenses which were issued in terms of the “old” Firearms Act of 1969 will be deemed to remain valid until the main application had been finalised.
The interim interdict was granted pending the outcome of SAHGCA’s main application, which will determine the constitutionality of the transitional provisions contained in Schedule 1 of the Firearms Control Act (Act 60 of 2000). The Court will have to decide whether the constitutional principles in respect of the protection of private property, the principle against criminal prosecution as well as the principle of fair administrative procedures had been complied with. It will take some time to finalise this case in Court (up to May 2015 this court case has not been finalised).
In short the judgment means that existing old “green licenses” (issued in terms of 1969 Act) will remain valid until SAHGCA’s main application had been heard, and firearm owners cannot be criminally charged for the illegal possession of such a firearm as was the case before the urgent interdict was brought (as was reported by NSA at the time in consecutive Newsletters).
The “old green licence” will thus remain sufficient proof of the legal possession of firearms legally owned under the 1969 Act.
The so-called main application has up to writing here (May 2015) not been heard, as SAPS have not filed oposing statemets, and it thus means that green licences are still legal.
TAKE NOTE: This interim Court ruling does not mean people who have not applied for renewals of their firearms licences during the so-called transitional period, can continue to do nothing !!
We advise our members to rather apply for new licences for all firearms they still only hold green licences for under the 1969 Act. However, it absolutely remains our member`s choice though.
Members can contact the NSA Firearms Licensing Helpline on 012-343-3236 during office hours for assistance in this matter or send an email to [email protected]