NHSA: DISCUSSIONS WITH CIVILIAN SECRETARY FOR POLICE ON FAC AMENDMENTS
Date: 18 (5)
Members will recall that the proposed amendments to the FCA were put on hold by the Parliamentary Sub-Committee for Police (PSCP), with the assignment to the Civilian Secretary for Police (CSP) that they should first reach consensus with the firearms community on proposed amendments before further amendments to the FCA are put on the table.
NHSA, with other accredited associations, was invited to a meeting with CSP on 15 March 2022 to discuss the proposed amendments to the FCA as per the CSP assignment given to them by the PSCP. The meeting lasted 5 hours from 09:30 to 15:00.
In giving a very short summary to our members on the content of that meeting; it is fair to say that the whole meeting can be characterised as a total “pushback” to CSP on the proposed amendments to the FCA.
It was made clear that we as part of the larger group of firearms stakeholders cannot agree with the proposed amendments as it was already indicated in all our submissions in opposition to the proposed May 2021 Bill. Members can again read the Natshoot submission in opposition to the proposed amendments here - https://natshoot.co.za/newsletters/2022/repeat-of-newsletter-vol-1729-3-8-2021-nhsa-submission-on-proposed-amendments-to-fca
The CSP was reminded that they should execute their mandate as stipulated in the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service Act (2 of 2011) re their responsibility for oversight over the Central Firearms Registry (CFR). The delegates representing the CSP were also reminded that they should heed the words of the PSCP to seek consensus with stakeholders re possible future amendments to the FCA.
It was also mentioned that the CSP represent the citizens of the country and are not responsible for only doing the bidding of the Minister of Police (and possible other politicians too). Although it seems that to a large extent that is how the CSP sees the process they have now entered into with firearms stakeholders.
The CSP delegates were taken to task for their perceived very close collaboration with Gun Free South Africa (GFSA) and for the fact that it seems as if GFSA has an open “office” at CSP.
It was made clear that no one agrees with the high rate of violent criminality in the country and that the proposed amendments focussed on legal firearms owners will not solve the high incidence of illegal firearms of which the source are the police themselves and the defence force.
It was further mentioned that the people who drafted the proposed amendments as published in the draft Bill (Government Gazette #44593 of 21 May 2021), have no idea of the subject matter they were trying to legislate for, which is proven by the high incidence of unconstitutional and illogic amendments proposed in the Bill.
Bad service delivery by CFR and by provincial FLASH sections was discussed as well as the total mess at DFO’s offices where every DFO does as s/he sees fit.
CSP was requested that these discussions should continue with firearms stakeholders as it is the only way the implementation of the FCA can be made to work (as firearms owners we want to own and use firearms legally).
Members must please take cognisance that NHSA talking with CSP does not mean that we will not keep on fighting for legal private ownership and use of firearms. NHSA will litigate (alone or with others) if we have to protect firearm ownership in that manner. The CSP is aware of this position.
NHSA will continue to responsibly engage in discussions with the CSP and with CFR re the implementation of the FCA in order to ascertain that we protect the firearms ownership of our members to the absolute best of our ability.
The content of this Newsletter communicated to all members via Email on 1 April 2022