NHSA Newsletter

VOL. 12 (17) - 10-03-2016

VALIDITY OF GREEN LICENCES REVISITED

Dear Member,

In discussion after discussion with knowledgeable persons in the legal profession, they have every time confirmed that the verdict of Judge Bill Prinsloo in the SA Hunters case (29 June 2009), was specific in the fact that he ruled that all firearm licences issued under the 1969 Firearms and Ammunition Act, were valid until such time as the main case of SA Hunters was heard.

That main case has up to today (10 March 2016), not been heard.

The legal professionals are all of opinion that all the so-called Green Licences are thus still valid irrespective of the fact that one might have a licence for the same firearm under the FCA (Act 60 of 2000 – thus a white licence).

We are aware of the fact that there might be (repeat might be) an urgent court application in the very near future to, inter alia, ask the court to set aside the indications in the 3 February 2016 SAPS issued Directive in which it is stated that Green Licences are only valid in instances where the holder did not renew such licence in the transition period from the 1969 Act to the 2000 Act (you will remember the renewals we all had to go through between 2005 and 2009 in order to get the current white licences for our firearms).

Due to the unfortunate disarray caused by the current procedures SAPS implement at the renewal of white licences (the absolute majority is for self defence handguns), we have to responsibly inform our members as follows:

If you have a white licence which has expired, and which you did not renew in time, you could, irrespective of the SAPS Directive of 3 February 2016 reported on in our Newsletter Vol. 12 (05), consider (repeat could consider) to not surrendering that firearm for destruction, if you still have a Green Licence for that specific firearm.  As has been stated above, that firearm’s Green Licence is, according to knowledgeable legal professionals, still valid.  All Green Licences will, according to the legal professionals, remain valid until such time as the main court case of SA Hunters has been heard, or the verdict of Judge Prinsloo of 29 June 2009 is over turned by subsequent High Court Applications or court cases.

From NHSA side we specifically state that if you should decide to keep such a firearm in your possession because you still have a Green Licence for that firearm, you do so at your own decision and in your own responsibility, and not on grounds of purported legal advice received from NHSA in this regard.  Remember, there is another legal interpretation of the validity of Green Licences than the one stated above; and that is that if you have made yourself subject to the stipulations of the FCA (Act 60 of 2000) by renewing your Green Licence for a White Licence, one cannot now claim that the former Green Licence one held for the same firearm, is still valid. It is thus an intricate legal discussion.

We are not legally professional and cannot furnish absolute legal opinion.  We can, however, transfer information to members which we think might be to their benefit. 

Members are thus in their person responsible to make their own decisions in this regard based on the information we share in this Newsletter.

Kind Regards

Herman Els