POSITIVE OUTCOME IN THE GOSA URGENT COURT APPLICATION
Date: Vol 14-25
VOL. 14 (25) - 01-08-2018
POSITIVE OUTCOME IN THE GOSA URGENT COURT APPLICATION
(in Northern Guateng High Court on 27 July 2018)
In this Newsletter the following aspects are discussed:
Implications of the Directive of the National Commissioner, dated 30 July 2018, following the interim court order issued on 27 July 2018 after hearing of the GOSA urgent application
Be sure to renew competencies on time
Renew Firearm licences on time
As there are a number of our members affected by the police's actions of forcing people to hand in firearms of which white licences had expired, following the Concourt’s judgment of 7 June 2018 (see NHSA Newsletters Vol. 14(17) and Vol. 14(20)), NHSA extends a large, THANK YOU, to GOSA for being tenacious in bringing an urgent court application to prevent the police from taking in large numbers of firearms of which white licences have expired.
We are still awaiting the official documentation containing the interim order issued by Judge Prinsloo on 27 July 2018 in favour of the urgent GOSA application. We unfortunately cannot realistically interpret the interim court order without the official documentation (we shall inform members the moment we have received it) (see the relief GOSA sought in their urgent application at the bottom of this Newsletter).
We can, however, discuss and interpret some of the content of an important Directive issued by Genl. Sithole, National Commissioner of Police, on 30 July 2018, in reaction to the judgment in the GOSA urgent application (link to download Directive at bottom of this Newsletter). A directive issued by the National Commissioner is an order of a General to all policemen and women under his control, and must be implemented as ordered.
We shall advise members of the administrative processes SAPS will implement with regards to the under-mentioned the moment we know.
In his Directive of 30 July 2018, the National Commissioner, inter alia, issues the following "orders" we think to be important for affected members to take note of:
1. That SAPS in all Provinces may in regard to the handing in of firearms of which licences have expired, forthwith (thus from 30 July 2018), only act on directives issued by the National Commissioner's office (it thus seems the National Commissioner has taken charge of managing the implications of the GOSA interim court order);
2. That SAPS has been stopped from accepting, collecting or demanding the handing over of firearms of which the licences have expired pending the outcome of the main court case to follow the GOSA urgent application (Provincial Commissioners are instructed to suspend all previously issued directives regarding the handing over of firearms of which the licences have expired);
3. That persons who had handed in firearms with expired licences following the Constitutional Court's order of 7 June 2018, may ask for those firearms to be handed back to them (police stations must thus hand such firearms back to the public on request - remember to take a copy of the National Commissioner's directive with you, as well as the documentation you received when handing in the firearm when you go and ask for it to be returned to you), and;
4. That people may still hand in firearms with SAPS if they would so wish, but with the clear understanding that they have to give a written acceptance that they hand in such a firearm for destruction.
We advise that members should rather wait until next week (i.e. 8 August) before they start acting on those parts of the National Commissioner's Directive of 30 July 2018 which favour them. Just to give the police time to send the directive through to all their stations and for them to sort out all their "new" procedures which must be put into place as these are implied by the directive.
BE SURE TO RENEW COMPETENCIES ON TIME
As it is perceived that the majority of renewal applications which were late, were for renewal of section 13 licences (self-protection - valid for only 5 years if one has just one handgun), one's handgun competency must in such an instance be renewed now. This, so that one can make use of the opportunities for renewal through the procedures to be put into place as result of the National Commissioner's directive (and Judge Prinsloo's interim order), as well as those perceived to possibly be described in the promised amnesty (once it has been announced).
Irrespective of how SAPS implement the processes regarding renewal of competencies, we strongly advise members to rather renew competencies timeously. Competencies expire 5 years after date of issue for self-defence firearms (section 13 licence) (if one has only one of a kind of firearm for self-defence), and 10 years after date of issue for sport shooting and hunting firearms (section 15 and 16 licences).
RENEW FIREARM LICENCES ON TIME
If any person who owns a firearm is not yet 100% convinced that s/he MUST renew firearm licences and competencies on time (at the least, 90 days before they expire), it is time to wake up. The amount of energy one has to put into an effort to renew a firearm licence if one is late with a renewal application, is enormous. In the same instance the frustration going with such a situation if one might have to hand in the firearm for destruction because one has no other legal alternative, is just not worth having to go through.
Please go and make sure what the expiry dates of all your licences and competencies are - RIGHT NOW !
National Commissioner of Police Directive of 30 July 2018
Relief sought by GOSA in their urgent court application:
In summary, the relief which the applicant (GOSA) sought in the urgent application was the following:
An interim interdict restraining the respondents (Minister of Police and the National Commissioner of Police) to implement any plan or action in relation to firearms whose licenses have expired (thus not accepting any such firearms at its police stations or any other place and demanding that such firearms be surrendered to the police).
As final relief, the applicant seeks orders as follows:
- An order declaring that the period of validity for all firearm licenses issued, and to be issued, is extended to the lifetime of the owner;
- Alternatively, an order declaring that the periods referred to in sections 24(1) and 24(4) of the Act, be extended for firearm owners holding expired licenses;
- Further alternatively, that the first respondent be ordered to provide a comprehensive and detailed security plan for the safe storage of firearms by the SAPS
The posting of this Newsletter communicated to all members on 1 August 2018 per Email