SA Dealers Association brings Urgent Application re Renewal of Firearm Licences
Date: Vol 12-22
VOL. 12 (22) - 31-03-2016
SA Dealers Association brings Urgent Court Application re Renewal of Firearm Licences
The Arms & Ammunition Dealers Association on 1 March 2016 filed an Urgent Court Application to be heard on 5 April 2016 in the Gauteng High Court.
The Dealers are asking the court to rule that:
- The SAPS Directive, 3/5/2/157 signed by the Acting National Commissioner, Lt. Genl. JK Phahlane on 3 February 2016, be declared invalid and set aside (see our Newsletter Vol. 12 (05) dated 11-02-2016 re this Directive);
- In the event that a firearm licence issued under the FCA expires, the prescripts of Section 28(2), (3), (4), (5) and (6) of the FCA must be applied;
- A licensed dealer may take a firearm with an expired licence onto his stock by completion of a SAPS534 form (Transfer of Firearm Ownership) (thus being allowed to take over the firearm of which the licence has expired, from the owner);
- That SAPS be ordered to process such SAPS534 applications, and transfer such firearms to the dealer’s stock with a signed SAPS350 form (dealer stock return form);
- The order as requested in a to d above, shall remain in place until such time as the SA Hunters case of 2009 (case 33656/2009), had been finalised.
The Dealers' urgent application also asks the court to rule that the SAPS interpretation of the validity of Green Licences as stated in the Directive mentioned under, a, above, should be declared invalid.
In the said Directive, SAPS takes the stance that only Green Licences of people who did not subject themselves to the renewal of such licences in the so-called Transition period of the FCA (2005 to 2009) are valid, and that those Green Licences of firearms which have been transferred to the FCA (Act 60 of 2000), are not valid anymore.
Thus people who had purposefully not adhered to the stipulations of the FCA re compulsory renewal of Green Licences, are now being treated with no penalty, while persons who had adhered to the stipulations of the FCA re renewal of their Green Licences, are now ordered to forfeit their firearms if they should forget to renew their licences on time.
The Dealer’s position is that the verdict of Judge Prinsloo in the well known SA Hunters urgent court application in 2009, was that all Green Licences will remain valid until the main case related to the SA Hunters’ urgent court application, had been heard.
It needs to be stated that the FCA clearly has inadequate prescripts to manage instances of late applications for expired firearm licences. The State does not disown a vehicle owner of his/her vehicle if such a person should forget to renew his/her driver’s licence on time. The SA Hunters case which was reported on in our Newsletter Vol. 12 (20) dated 18-03-2016, aims to address exactly this shortcoming in the FCA.
NHSA would like to extend our gratitude to the SA Dealers for bringing this urgent application as the positive outcome thereof, will obviously benefit all firearm owners in this country, and bring definite relief to a large number of firearm owners who just forgot to renew their licences on time. At present, licensed firearm owners are being judged in the same category as criminals who use unlicensed firearms, while such licensed firearm owners had just not applied to have the licences of their legally held firearms, on time.