Legal Advisory: Senior Advocate's Legal Opinion on the Validity of Green Licences
Date: Vol 12-25
VOL. 12 (25) - 11-04-2016
SENIOR COUNCIL’S LEGAL OPINION ON THE VALIDITY OF GREEN LICENCES
Before the Dealers’ Urgent Court Application, we requested Adv van Eeden SC, to furnish us with his legal opinion on this issue. The full text of his opinion is reflected in Newsletter Vol. 12 (26) dated 11-04-2016. You can read that Newsletter by going to the following Natshoot web page - https://natshoot.co.za/nhsa-info/nhsa-newsletters
The legal opinion of Adv van Eeden SC is important as it reflects the verdict any court should logically come to if it should be asked the question on the continued validity of Green Licences even after one had applied for a so-called White Licence under the FCA for the same firearm.
The important conclusion Adv van Eeden (SC) comes to on this issue, is reflected in the last paragraph of his document, namely:
“If a licence issued in terms of the New Act has expired, (SC here refers to Act 60 of 2000) the owner of the firearm will remain in valid possession of that firearm if he or she has a green licence (SC here refers to licences under the Arms and Ammunition Act of 1969). Such owner will then have one valid licence, whereas he or she previously had two valid licences (the Green Licence for the specific firearm is thus still valid despite the White Licence for that firearm had expired).
The owner is under no lawful obligation to surrender such firearm, even if the renewal of a licence in terms of the New Act is refused because the renewal application was not made timeously. Such a refusal would, however, be foolhardy (SC here refers to the situation if SAPS would refuse the renewal of a White Licence for a firearm for which one also holds a valid Green Licence) and the owner should successfully defend any prosecution in respect of the possession of such a firearm”.
This thus means that if you are late with your renewal application for your so-called White Licence for a specific firearm, and you have a Green Licence for that same firearm, you are still legally in possession thereof. SAPS thus cannot take you to task for being in possession of an illegal firearm of which the White Licence had expired while you are still in possession of a Green Licence for that fierarm. You will be able to defend yourself successfully in any court case against you for purportedly being in possession of an ilegal firearm.
We thus, herewith, confirm the position we had informed you of, re this issue, in our Newsletter Vol. 12 (17) dated 10 March 2016, namely that our general legal advice has been that Green Licences are valid irrespective of the fact that one might have a White Licence for a specific firearm.
Before we had known the full extent of the Dealers’ urgent application, we had requested the legal opinion from Adv H van Eeden (SC) on the validity of the so-called Green Licences, as the SAPS Directive of 2 February 2016 clearly stated that once one had participated in the transitional period ordered by the FCA (Act 60 of 2000) in respect of a specific firearm, one could not claim that one’s previous Green Licence for that firearm was still valid.
This communication then also serves as a recall of our Newsletter Vol. 11 (27) dated 11 December 2015 stating that one could not claim validity of a Green Licences for a specific firearm after one had applied for a so-called White Licence under the FCA (Act 60 of 2000) for that same firearm.
Despite the above we once again urge our members to ASCERTAIN THAT YOU APPLY FOR RENEWAL OF FIREARM LICENCES 90 DAYS BEFORE THE EXPIRY DATE OF SUCH A LICENCE. Your firearms are after al your resposibility - take that responsibility seriously !!
We shall advise members on the outcomes of both comming court cases