Date: Vol 12-20
VOL. 12 (20) - 18-03-2016
SA HUNTERS BRINGS APPLICATION AGAINST SAPS RE RENEWAL OF FIREARM LICENCES
On 2 February 2016, the newly appointed Acting Commissioner of Police issued a directive instructing DFOs to manage late licence renewal applications in a specified manner - see NHSA Newsletter Vol. 12 (05).
In practice, however, the Directive created uncertainty rather than bringing clarity to the process of renewals as there are quite a number of discrepancies caused by the Directive.
The least being that a person who was late with an application on 28 January 2016 was fine and the application accepted. But a person bringing a late application on 3 February 2016 would have to be told to hand in the firearm for destruction.
Another question implied by the 2 February Directive was about the validity of the old Green licences. In this regard, people who had adhered to the conditions of the so-called transitional period with the renewal of licences from the 1969 Act to the 2000 Act, and who had changed their licences from the Green Licence to the White Licence, would now be severely penalised. They may be prosecuted or lose their firearms, while those who in the first place did not comply with the stipulations of the 2000 Act (not renewing licences), are not affected by renewals at all just because they still hold Green Licences.
Indications on good authority are that a possible 123,000 people could be criminalised because they have not applied for the renewal of their white firearm licences in time.
SA Hunters has now filed a Court Application requesting the court to, among others:
- Declare sections 24 and 28 of the Act as unconstitutional
- Compel the State to finalise and implement the draft Amendment Act that was introduced in 2015
- Simultaneously amend the two sections (Section 24 and 28) to adhere to the constitutional requirements
- Regard all new white licences that had expired as legal until the amendments for a revised renewal process have been implemented
We have respect for the steps taken by SA Hunters, as other accredited associations just don’t have the funding to bring such urgently and much needed court applications (this case could easily cost SA Hunters R700,000). Obviously the SA Hunters case will benefit all firearm owners in this country if they should get a positive verdict in the case. It also makes sense for SA Hunters to bring this case as it continues on their 2009 case, of which the main application has as yet, not been heard.
We shall cooperate and assist SA Hunters whereever they would need assistance with their case.
We shall keep you, our members, abreast of further developments in this regard.