Constitutional Court Judgement on SA Hunters Case re Sections 24 & 28 of FCA
Date: Vol 14-16
VOL. 14 (16) - 08-06-2018
FURTHER TO THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT JUDGMENT RE THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF SECTIONS 24 & 28 OF THE FCA
Our Emails of 7 June and 8 June 2018 to all members with reference to the topic of this Newsletter, plus our Newsletter, Vol. 14(15) of 7 June 2018, has relevance.
In the judgment of the reffered to court case, the Constitutional Court, which is the highest court in the country, clearly stated that the possession of firearms in this country is a privilege and not a fundamental right. This point of departure re the legal ownership of firearms, thus becomes the criterion against which the legal ownership of firearms are measure against in this country. The implication hereof, is that members MUST ascertain that they renew firearm licences at the very least, 90 days before such licences expire (also remember to renew competencies 5 years (self-defence firearms) and 10 years (section 15 and 16 licences) after they have been issued - also 90 days before they expire).
We have, however, requested further legal opinion from our legal advisor, Mr Juan Kotzé on the growing uncertainty created by statements in the printed press and on TV news broadcasts, indicating that people have to hand in their firearms with SAPS, forthwith, if they are in possession of firearms of which the licences have expired due to owners not having renewed these firearm licences on time.
This also goes hand in hand with press reports of SAPS stating that they will arrest any person who remains in possession of such a firearm, if that person does not hand in the firearm with SAPS for destruction (Brig Naidoo has been quoted on sevaral occasion in the press as making this statement).
In this regard you must please read the legal opinions of both Mr Kotzé and of Adv van Eeden (SC), attached below, as the old green licences, as well as licences pasted into old blue ID-booklets, are still valid and legal, and according to Adv van Eeden's opinion legal even if you have a transpired white licence (thus even if one had not renewed the white licence for such a firearm in time).
Please do not allow SAPS to bully you, through press reports or otherwise, into handing in firearms of which you might very well still be in legal possession of.
However, if you never had a green license for a specific firearm and your white license has expired, you will be at risk if you possess the firearm because you don’t have a valid licence. It is pointed out that even if the firearm is kept in your safe (and not carried on your person) you will still in terms of the law, be in illegal possession of that firearm.
Although there have been many reports in the press about an amnesty, the provisions thereof (and whether it will in fact be declared) are uncertain. Anyone who keeps a firearm without a valid licence waiting for the terms of the amnesty to be announced, hoping that it might be more favourable to firearm owners who had not renewed licences in time, or who do not possess a green licence for such a firearm, does so at his own peril.
Mr Kotze’s legal opinion on the matter of expired licences and the validity of the so-called green licences, must be read HERE
The legal opinion of Adv Herman van Eeden (SC) regarding the continued validity of the so-called green licences issued under the 1969 Firearms and Ammunition Act, because the interim order of Judge Prinsloo in the 2009 SA Hunters case is still valid, and to which Mr Kotze refers, must be read HERE. (Adv van Eeden indicates that one can thus have a green licence and a white licence for the same firearm - with both licences being legal).
You can download the 2009 order of Judge Prinsloo, to which both Mr Kotze and Adv van Eeden refers, HERE (we suggest you always carry a copy hereof with your green licence). In this court order of 29 June 2009, Judge Prinsloo orders that ALL firearm licences issued under the 1969 Firearms Act, will be valid until the main case between SA Hunters and the then Minsiter of Safety and Security had been heard. This "main case" has not yet been before the courts. Thus Judge Prinsloo's court order of 29 June 2009, is still valid and green licences issued under the 1969 Act, still legal.
We shall inform members the moment we know of any further developments regarding this issue
Please stay safe and vigilant at all times
Dr Herman Els (NHSA Executive Chair)
This Newsletter circulated to all members per Email on 08-06-2018