VOL. 14 (21) - 29-06-2018
HANDING IN OF FIREARMS WITH EXPIRED WHITE LICENCES
1. Although the police have communicated nothing to the public after the Concourt judgment on 7 June 2018, as to how they will manage the handing in of firearms of which white licences had expired, they have issued some instructions to their provinces and stations
2. All police stations throughout the country have been instructed to accept firearms of which white licences have expired, and which has to be handed in for destruction, only during office hours – 08:00 to 16:00. No indication of any time limit or cut-off date for this process to be concluded, has, however, been indicated. The process could thus very well take some time to run its course (the public will thus have to await a time indication by the police).
3. The National Commissioner had in his June 2018 directive to provinces (read HERE), indicated that the police could well start to confiscate firearms of which white licences had expired. He also indicates in the directive that the police will not arrest people who find them in the unenviable position of being forced to hand in previously legally owned firearms.
4. The police have been instructed to daily transport those firearms, which have been handed in for destruction, to their Provincial offices. In the PWV area this might be achievable, but in those provinces, which consist of mainly far flung rural farming areas, this is not so easy to achieve (i.e. the provincial office for Springbok in the Northern Cape is in Kimberley). It thus follows that the police in Springbok have to travel to Kimberley every following day after such a firearm has been handed in for destruction (what a waste of manpower and of tax payers' money, seemingly because the highest police official cannot guarantee the security of firearms at all of the country's police stations he is responsible for).
5. If your white licence has expired, you might thus receive a call or SMS from your DFO instructing you to bring in the firearm for destruction (as the station might be managing the transport problem described above). There have been a number of instances reported where police stations in deep rural areas have contacted members in this manner.
6. If you had only a white licence which has expired, and you have been contacted by your DFO as described, we cannot advise you in any other way as that you will have to go hand in that firearm. Otherwise it could be construed as obstruction of justice if you do not take in that firearm within a reasonable time, because they have notified you accordingly.
7. If, however, you have been contacted in this manner, but you had a green licence for a firearm of which the white licence has expired, we advise that you rather get your lawyer to contact them (you DFO) and ask why you have to hand in that firearm as your green licence is still valid.
8. All relevant facts in this regard are stated in our Newsletter 14(20), to which all relevant documents have been attached for your lawyer to be able to protect your right to legally remain in possession of said firearm. It is better that your lawyer does this than you yourself, as s/he has the background to in a legal manner, be in discussion with the police on matters like this (be sure to read paragraph 4 of Newsletter 14(20) in this regard).
9. Please let our offices know immediately if you have been threatened with arrest or were forced into handing in of firearms of which the white licence has expired, but for which you had a green licence.
10. If you have not been contacted by your DFO in the manner described aboved, we advise that you wait for the police to clearly state what the procedures will be to follow, before you do anything with a firearm of which the white licence had expired. In the event that the police do make their required procedures known to the public, we advise that you still strictly follow the legal options you might have, as these are described in our Newsletter 14(20).
11. Anyone with a valid white licence must ensure that s/he applies for the renewal thereof at least 90 days before the expiry date of the licence (and if necessary, the competency certificate applicable to such firearm as well). Remember if you apply in time, your licence remains valid until the police have finalised your application.
This Newsletter was circulated to all members per Email on 29-06-2018