Our Newsletter Vol. 11 (09) dated 12-11-2015 has reference and our warnings contained therein, has become seriously relevant.
SAPS has finally on 3 February 2016, come up with a Directive (3/5/2/157 signed by the Acting National Commissioner, Lt. Genl. JK Phahlane), giving a clear indication of the manner in which they will implement the process of renewal of firearm licences issued under the Firearms Control Act (Act 60 of 2000) (FCA).
It is clear that they will in future strictly stay within the stipulations of Section 24 of the FCA, which states that application for renewal of a licence must be submitted at least 90 days before expiry of the licence.
Renewal applications, MAY, be accepted if they are handed in within the 90-day period before expiry of the licence, and reasons must then be furnished why the application is late.
In cases where a person applies for renewal of a licences which has already expired, the DFO must inform the person that s/he must hand in the firearm for destruction, as it has become an illegal firearm on date of expiry of the licence. Don’t take chances here – the sentence is a mandatory 15 years (and everything that goes with that).
When a firearm of which the licence has already expired is voluntarily handed in with SAPS for destruction, that person will according to this Directive, not be prosecuted for being illegally in possession of a firearm.
This directive has no bearing on holders of green licences. But take note that means that the licence for that firearm must have never been renewed under the FCA.
Also take note that your DFO can consider requesting the CFR to issue a Section 28 notice if you hand in your renewal application within the prescribed 90-day period.
A Section 28 notice is a notice which informs the holder of such a licence that SAPS intend to terminate the licence and that the holders should within 30 days render valid reasons why SAPS should not take this action.
We once again reiterate, DO NOT GET CAUGHT UP IN THIS ISSUE. Hand in your renewal application 90 days before the licence expires as the licence then remains valid until such time as SAPS has decided the re-issue thereof. Go and look at the expiry dates on your licences NOW !!
Always carry an authenticated copy of the receipt you receive at renewal, as this proves that you have applied for renewal if you should be stopped at a road block and you have an expired licence with you. Keep the original receipt in a safe place.