THE END OF GREEN LICENCES IN SIGHT
Date: Vol 16-49
VOL. 16 (49) - 10-09-2020
THE END OF GREEN LICENCES IN SIGHT
Irrespective of what is written below - your green licence is for now, still 100% valid and legal.
We advise that you take note of the text below and as a minimum make sure you have the correct competencies and dedicated status if you do not yet have it (so that you do not get caught out of time when you by law will have to apply for white licences). But that's all. We shall notify members well in time if they would by law need to change green licences to white licences.
1. The State Attorney has informed SA Hunters that the Minister of Police wants to have the interim order in the 2009 SA Hunters court case, set aside.
2. The 2009 interim court order in the SA Hunters court case ordered that all green licences would remain valid until the main court case had been heard. The main court case has over the past 11 years not been heard. That is the reason why the State Attorney has by order of the Minister of Police written the letter to SA Hunters on this matter.
3. SA Hunters have not yet indicated how they will react to the Minister’s request; be that by merely indicating that they will not oppose it, or that SA Hunters will oppose the matter in court.
4. Be that as it may, please take serious note that the warning and advice we gave members on 21 August 2020 in Newsletter Vol. 16(47), has now become reality.
5. The letter of the State Attorney, irrespective of how SA Hunters choose to react to the Minister’s request, means that people who have only green licences for firearms in their possession, should as quickly as they can:
(a) make sure they do the correct proficiency training related to the types of firearms they own at a training provider who is accredited with PFTC otherwise your training certificates will not be accepted by SAPS (please try and do this proficiency training within the next three weeks to give yourself enough time to receive competency so that you can apply for a new white licence before the court sets aside the 2009 interim order);
(b) make sure they apply for the correct competencies for the types of firearms they hold only green licences for so that you can apply for new white licences, or apply for those competencies you need (i.e. a competency to own handguns, and/or rifles, and/or shotguns, and/or semi-auto rifles);
(c) make sure they have dedicated status if they have more than 4 firearms with green licences, or a semi-auto shotgun or a semi-auto rifle - you will have to receive dedicated hunting status with an accredited hunting association or dedicated sports-person status with an accredited sports shooting association before you will be able to apply for new white licences for those firearms even if you have the correct competencies (Natshoot presents both courses), and;
(d) make sure they apply for new white licences on the ordinary SAPS 271 application form for new licences as soon as they have the relevant competency. We advise that you also complete a SAPS 517 (e) form (Application for Renewal of Licence in terms of the Previous Act) if your DFO indicates you should rather use that form (remember dedicated status if they need it). You can download all application forms HERE
6. When submitting new white licence applications against your green licences, take this Directive of the National Commissioner of Police with so that your DFOs can see that appliation for a new white licence has to be done on a SAPS 271 application form and that this is an order of the highest police official - show your DFO paragraph 7 of the Directive which you must download HERE
7. Remember one needs the correct competency to apply for a new white licence.
8. As we do not yet know how SA Hunters will react to the Minister's request, we cannot at this stage indicate a time frame within which the process of rescinding the 2009 interim court order will take place. All we can say is that one should understand that getting green licences converted to white licences for those firearms you only have green licences for, is seriously urgent.
9. If the court decides to set aside the 2009 interim order, green licences will on that day become invalid and holders of firearms for which they only have green licences will be in illegal possession of such firearms.
10. In this matter one will thus have to make sure your application for a new white licence is in with your DFO before the final date on which the court will decide in this matter (setting aside the 2009 interim court order).
11. SAPS will probably take between 4 and 6 months to evaluate competency applications. That is why we advise that you do the proficiency training as soon as you possibly can (if you have to), so that you have time to submit applications for new white licences if you have to before the final day on which the court makes its ruling on the matter.
12. We also advise that you should apply for new white licences for those firearms for which you only hold green licences (also those in old blue ID books) if you have competency for that type of firearm, quicker than later.
13. In discussions with learned legal persons, it was quite clear that there is very little chance that the court will decide not to set the 2009 interim court order aside. It is thus better to assume that the court will decide to set aside the 2009 interim order, as we do not know what other counter court cases could be lodged against the Minister’s request to have the 2009 interim order set aside. It is thus a matter of time, not if the interim order will be set aside.
14. We urge our members who have only green licences for their firearms, or for some of their firearms, not to get caught up in a process of having to hand in firearms for destruction because these firearms have now become illegal (licences have become invalid) due to the setting aside of the 2009 interim court order in the SA Hunters' case (whenever that may be).
15. We also urge all our members to please inform friends and people they know of this situation regarding green licences, so that they are not caught up in a bad situation with the firearms they would want to continue owning.
16. We shall inform members the moment we have confirmation of SAPS filing court documents for the case, as that should give us a reasonable indication of the time it might take before the case is heard in court.
17. If you are uncertain about the processes related to proficiency training, or applying for competency or for applying for a white licence, please go to this web page - Converting Green Licences to White Licences.
Kind Regards, Natshoot Office
The posting of this Newsletter communicated to all members via Email on 10 September 2020