THE NHSA AND ITS MEMBERS' LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY RE MAINTAINING DEDICATED STATUS
In order for NHSA to remain in good standing and retain its accreditation as hunting & sport shooting association with SAPS, we had to put the following system in place, to which our dedicated members MUST adhere to, in order for them to maintain their dedicated status for a specific year, and to be compliant up to 30 November of the following year.
If a person loses his/her Section 16 dedicated status, that person’s FCA status reverts to occasional hunter and/or sport-person.
As occasional hunter and/or sport-person one may in terms of Section 15 of the FCA, only hold four firearms, of which none may be semi-auto firearms (pistols excluded), and of which only one may be for self-defence.
1.1 Accredited Associations (hunting & sport shooting) are by Section 16(2) and 16(4) of the Firearms Control Act (Act 60 of 2000 as amended) (FCA) and by Regulation 4 of the Regulations of the FCA (2004 as amended), given the responsibility to award dedicated status to its members. Typically, after members had completed a prescribed course with that association (Regulation 4(b)(i) and 4(b)(ii)) (or by way of recognition of prior learning [RPL]).
1.2 Dedicated status entitles dedicated members to legally own more than four firearms, and/or semi-auto rifles and/or shotguns. Dedicated members may hold more than 200 rounds of ammunition and more than 2,400 primers per firearm licence they hold under Section 16 of the FCA (see Sections 16, 91 and 93 of the FCA) (see Newsletter Vol. 13 (13) in respect of holding more than 200 rounds of ammo per licensed firearm HERE ).
1.3 In return, accredited associations are held legally responsible and accountable to ascertain that their dedicated members remain in compliance with that association’s criteria to annually retain said status. These criteria are presented to, and formally accepted by SAPS before the specific association is awarded accreditation.
1.4 In terms of the legal “arrangement” described above, accredited associations stand responsible and accountable towards SAPS, because if some of their dedicated members would for whatever reason, loose their dedicated status, such members could be illegally in possession of at least some of their firearms (if they do not have dedicated status with another accredited association).
1.5 If a person loses his/her Section 16 dedicated status, that person’s FCA status reverts to occasional hunter and/or sport-person. As occasional hunter and/or sport-person one may in terms of Section 15 of the FCA, only hold four firearms, of which none may be semi-auto firearms (pistols excluded), and of which only one may be for self-defence.
1.6 Therefore Regulation 4(1)(c) of the FCA, requires accredited associations to have a system in place by way of which they can regularly and appropriately be informed of their dedicated members' dedicated activities in a specific year (hunters and/or sport-persons).
1.6.1 It has since its original founding in 2004, been NHSA policy to manage the process related to the legal requirement prescribing that dedicated members annually have to report their dedicated activities to the accredited association they belong to, in the letter and spirit of the stipulations of Regulation 4(c)(i) and (ii), and Regulation 4(d).
1.6.2 Regulation 4(d) stipulates as follows: "... an accredited association must prove that it keeps on record the particulars of the participation by a dedicated member in his or her hunting or sports-shooting activities as a dedicated hunter or dedicated sport person, as the case may be...". From there then the legal requirement for our dedicated members to annually report their activities (at NHSA we place the emphasis of this Regulation on "....his or her hunting or sports-shooting activities..." and not only on those NHSA-specific activities a dedicated member participates in - we thus acknowledge all verified firearm related activities of our dedicated members (see paragraph 4 below);
1.6.3 While Regulation 4(c) stipulates as follows: "...an accredited association must prove that it has a dedicated procedure in place to regularly evaluate its dedicated members for their -
(i) bona fides to be or remain a dedicated hunter or sports person, and
(ii) dedicated participation in their applicable hunting or sports-shooting activities, as the case may be..."
1.7 NHSA must thus be able to, on 31 December annually, submit a by Regulation 4(2)(b) prescribed report to SAPS. This report must contain the names of all dedicated members who had lost their dedicated status for whatever reason with that association in that year (final reporting date for members is 30 November annually so that NHSA has enough time to prepare the SAPS report).
1.8 In order for NHSA to remain in good standing and to retain our accreditation with SAPS (as accredited hunting and as sport shooting association), and to remain in a position to protect the legal firearm ownership of all our members, NHSA has put the system as explained in the main document in place to which dedicated members of the NHSA, MUST adhere to, in order to maintain their dedicated status in a specific year and to be compliant up to 30 November of the following year.