WELCOME TO SOUTH AFRICAN GUNOWNERS’ ASSOCIATION

OPEN LETTER TO STATE PRESIDENT
OPEN LETTER TO STATE PRESIDENT
Ope Brief aan Staatspresident.pdf (393.88KB)
OPEN LETTER TO STATE PRESIDENT
OPEN LETTER TO STATE PRESIDENT
Ope Brief aan Staatspresident.pdf (393.88KB)

OPEN LETTER TO STATE PRESIDENT FROM CHASA CEO FRED CAMPHOR

President C Ramaphosa
Parliament
Cape Town
Honourable Mr President,
FIREARMS LEGISLATION AND OWNERSHIP IN RSA
I am the CEO of the South African Hunters and Game Consrvation Association (commonly known as SA Hunters) and I send you this open letter with the knowledge and support of my Board. I cannot claim to talk on behalf of all representatives of legal firearm owners, but I know most of those representatives well enough to state that they will agree with the views I share.

Not long after your inauguration as President of South Africa you started your “tuma mina” campaign. “Tuma mina” means “send me”, and I would like to use this opportunity to request: “Mr President, may I please send you, on behalf of all legal firearm owners in RSA, to just go have a look at the lack of proper implementation and administration of the Firearms Control Act.”

You will most likely start a new term as the President of South Africa after 8 May 2019 and I wish to deliberately already now request you to do this as one of the first priorities to be attended to. For too long we have had an extremely poor experience in RSA with too many illegal firearms being misused in this country, to the detriment of too many people.

I have since 2009 at various instances attempted to get an appointment with your Minister of Police, in an attempt to propose solutions for commonly known problems experienced with the implementation of firearms control legislation. Since January 2019 alone, I submitted at least three written requests to the Office of the Minister. The best response I can claim to have received, was one acknowledgement of receipt of my request. I am not alone in this quest, I know the representatives of all other legal firearms owners are treated the same way.

With all due respect, please allow me to point out just a couple of problems experienced with the firearms control legislation in RSA. These are merely examples and not meant to be a comprehensive list of problems.

The new Firearms Control Act (No 60 of 2000 as amended) was implemented from 2006 with a requirement that all privately owned firearms are to be re-licensed over a period of four years. The inability of the Central Firearms Registry (CFR), at that time, (and still today) to process the applications and issue licenses for legally owned firearms is common knowledge.

Then, by June 2009, the intention was to terminate and cancel all “old licenses”. This would, from the CFR’s and Police’s own information, have criminalised nearly 1 million owners of legally licensed firearms, who, at that time, did not yet apply for renewal of those licenses. SA Hunters then brought a High Court Application in an attempt to protect the interest of its members (and members of the public) to have all “old licenses declared as deemed valid until the main application is heard” and an interdict to this effect was indeed granted in the North Gauteng High Court. This interdict is still valid and the result hereof of is that RSA still has two different firearm licensing regimes.

There are approximately 760 000 firearms still legally licensed in terms of the “old Act”. This is still the situation as the SAPS merely failed to respond to the founding affidavit in the “main application” brought in 2009. As a matter of fact, the SAPS has to date never yet responded to the founding affidavit in that case.

The situation with slow processing of license applications, mistakes made, and a general inability to properly administer and implement the Act just continued unabated.

In March 2015, nine years after promulgation of the Act, a Firearms Summit was called by the Portfolio Committee on Police and was held in the Parliament buildings in Cape Town. The then Deputy Minister of Police, Honourable M Sotyu, then stated and I quote from the Portfolio Committee Report to Parliament published on 16 July 2015: “On 13 March 2015, the Deputy Minister undertook a monitoring/inspection visit to the CFR and found that the CFR has not been a priority for a long time. Infrastructure is falling apart; it has outdated IT systems; there is a high vacancy rate; many personnel who had been fired due to corruption were not replaced; and, there is a lack of command and control. Another major challenge is the fact that the Appeals Board is located in the same CFR building, and of course there would be blurring of mandates and collusion or rubber-stamping.

The Deputy Minister of Police stated that the state of readiness to implement the proposed amendments to the FAC is thus non-existent.”

While this was the statement made by the Deputy Minister in March 2015, it still describes exactly the same situation today and the same words could still be said today.

The Act as promulgated from 2006 provides in section 41 that a dealer must make available and maintain a workstation to maintain electronic access to the CFR database. This electronic access for dealers to the CFR database does not exist yet, despite millions of Rands spent on IT development work for the CFR. More than 13 years after the Act was promulgated the CFR still does not have the electronic access system available to dealers, as the Act requires.

The first legally issued new firearm licenses started lapsing in 2011. Since that date, licenses were renewed as long as five years after the date on which the license lapsed. This was done despite the fact that the Act requires applications for firearms license renewals to be submitted “at least 90 days” prior to the date on which a license lapses. In 2016 the then Acting Commissioner of Police suddenly gave an instruction that no application for renewal of a license should be accepted after the license lapsed. Yet, the same instruction states that during the 90 day period before a license lapses an application for renewal of such license may be accepted.

This unilateral change in practice to the detriment of citizens resulted in at least two High Court applications being brought against the Police for unilateral interpretation of legislation.

In July 2018 Gunowners of South Africa obtained an interdict against the SAPS that states the SAPS “...... are prohibited from implementing any plans of action or from accepting any firearms for which the license expired at its police stations or at any place for the sole reason that the license of the firearm expired and:

That the SAPS is prohibited from demanding that such firearms be handed over to it for the sole reason that the license of such a firearm has expired”

This quote is a direct extract from the Court Order dated 27 July 2018.

The SAPS applied for leave to appeal against the interim interdict and was indeed granted leave to appeal. Yet, the SAPS merely failed to file any application for appeal against the interdict. This leaves exactly the same uncertainty on what happens to those firearms of which the licenses lapsed.

It is common knowledge that the Act needs a serious review and amendments to the Act are long overdue. Possible amendments to the Act have been discussed between the then Secretary of Police and representatives of different groups of firearm owners since 2010. In a sworn statement made in a court application in 2016, the then Minister stated under oath that an Amendment Bill would be submitted to Parliament by September 2016. The exact words available from the High Court record reads as follows: It is my intention to present the Amendment Bill to Parliament in September 2016”. This did not happen yet.

As a matter of fact a draft Amendment Bill was leaked to the press during 2018. The content of this “bill” is described as draconian to say the least. It for instance provides that self-defense as a reason for owning a firearm would be scrapped. This in a country like South Africa with serious crime levels being rampant and on average 55 people murdered per day.

It is widely reported that at the destruction of firearms on 17 April 2019 the Honourable Minister of Police stated that one day it would be better if private citizens have no guns at all. In exactly the same statement the Minister provided the reason for his statement and also admitted that firearms stored by the Police are not safe at all. The exact words by the Minister were reported as “.... even those guns that have been surrendered here, usually they all come as legal guns, then they get stolen and converted into illegal firearms”.

In 2009 already, there were an estimated three million firearm licenses issued to two million individuals. By now there are most likely more. Nobody really knows how many firearms are licensed to how many owners, as the CFR and the SAPS does not want this information to be made known. Let us for the moment assume there are approximately 2,5 million legally licensed firearm owners, but I must state that this is most likely a conservative number.

All of these firearm owners are voters. By law you must be at least 21 years old to own a legally licensed firearm. These 2,5 million legally licensed firearm owners represent no less than 50 seats in Parliament. Surely this represents a reasonable sample of the voters in the country that should somehow be heard. It would not be unreasonable of such a sample to expect to be given an opportunity to be heard on serious matters.

By far the majority of legally licensed firearm owners in the country are reasonable citizens who just want meaningful firearms control. They want the Act to work successfully and allow them to own and use their firearms. They pay taxes and they want to obey the laws of the country.

None of us want to see the gang war fought on the Cape flats. None of us want the kind of tragedy that happened recently in New Zealand. None of us want to see any unlicensed firearm in the hands of robbers, murderers, rapists and gangsters. We just want the ability to, as reasonable and law abiding citizens, use our legally licensed firearms to hunt and to participate in sport shooting. We want to, in a reasonable system, be allowed to relicense our firearms, expect to be issued a license within a reasonable time and comply with the legislation.

In March 2016 there were an estimated 470 000 (four hundred and seventy thousand) firearms of which the new licenses lapsed, without the owners applying for renewal of such licenses within the time frame specified in the Act. By now it is most likely more than half a million firearms with lapsed licenses in a conservative estimate. The SAPS does not want to provide the exact number.

The owners of these firearms are represented throughout all race groups. They are not all just criminals. By far the most of them are law-abiding citizens who merely forgot to in good time renew the licenses of their firearms, just like dozens of citizens forget to in good time renew their driving licenses or the licenses of their motor vehicles.

Yet, each of these firearms with lapsed licenses are seen as an illegal firearm merely because the license lapsed and should the Police have their way, these firearms should be surrendered for destruction, even though the Minister of Police does not trust his own Police to keep these firearms safely until it should get destructed.

Should the estimated more than half a million firearms of which the licenses lapsed be illegal and the owners thereof prosecuted, it is common knowledge that it would be an impossible task as every single owner would have to be traced and charged of an offence, found guilty in court and then penalised, most likely with a jail sentence. With all due respect Honourable Mr President, we know that RSA as a country does not have the resources to add another half a million cases to policemen, magistrates, prosecutors, judges and courts that are already overburdened. This is just no practical way to solve the problem.

Similarly, an ordinary amnesty, where more than half a million firearms are to be surrendered to the Police is also not the answer, not if even the Minister of Police does not trust his own Police to take possession of these firearms and keep them safely until destroyed.

South Africa has had two previous amnesty periods where firearms were surrendered to the Police. It is once again common knowledge that a significant number of these firearms were (after they were surrendered) stolen and sold to the gangs in the Cape Flats by Policemen who were trusted to keep these firearms in safe custody.

In both instances of the previous amnesties, the explicit purpose was stated as to get illegal firearms off the streets. Yet, when asked a question in the Portfolio Committee on Police to indicate how many of the firearms surrendered during the two previous amnesties were indeed linked to any crime, the then Deputy Commissioner of Police confirmed that not a single firearm surrendered during the two were linked to any crime. While a lot is made about “normal” amnesties taking illegal firearms off the streets, “normal” amnesties however seem to have rather become the source of more illegal firearms getting to the streets.

Honourable Mr President, I could continue like this for many more pages. I do not want to waste your time. The representatives of legal firearm owners associations are willing and prepared to assist. We have a number of proposals to improve the system, to get rid of some of the problems, to amend the Act and eventually get to a meaningful functional firearms control system in RSA. Just like you, we also want a system that would not distribute more illegal firearms to gangsters.

We are even prepared to spend large amounts of time and money to make this work. But then, Mr. President, somebody needs to listen to us and talk to us. Somebody needs to trust us to the extent to sit down and do the work required to create meaningful solutions to some of the problems. Please allow us that opportunity and allow us to be part of the solution.

Should we not be able to take hands and get to a meaningful solution to these matters, I am afraid that we will see civil disobedience like this country has never seen before. Similar to the E-toll fiasco,where citizens merely said we will not pay, we could see a situation where legal firearm owners might get to the point where they could just say we will not comply. Please help us to avoid that point.

The collective representatives of legal firearm owners have the ability to solve most of the problems experienced. By allowing us the opportunity to bring some of the solutions in a relatively easy way, we could end up at a point where we have a single firearms administration system in RSA and where the problem of firearms with lapsed licenses is solved and illegal firearms removed from the streets. To achieve this, Mr. President, somebody with the necessary authority needs to sit down and listen to us and allow us to work with him or them to solve these matters.

Mr. President, I have, with all due respect, now used my opportunity to say “mina tuma wena”. Please see this as a constructive attempt to play a role to make South Africa a better country for all its citizens.
Yours sincerely
Fred Camphor
CEO: SA Hunters

SAGA MINISTER OF POLICE NO GUNS
SAGA MINISTER OF POLICE NO GUNS
SAGA MinPol No guns.pdf (430.01KB)
SAGA MINISTER OF POLICE NO GUNS
SAGA MINISTER OF POLICE NO GUNS
SAGA MinPol No guns.pdf (430.01KB)

 SAGA MEDIA STATEMENT

John Welch

Police Minister Cele’s statement on 17 April at the destruction of some 30 039 seized and surrendered firearms that It would be better if one day we don’t have private citizens having guns at all. It’s a tall order going forward but it would be better if one day, only the armed forces namely police and soldiers having [access to] guns”, was nothing new, however, it illustrates how remote he is from reality. With the violent crime rate what it is, it is irrational and unreasonable to deny good law-abiding citizens’ the means to defend themselves and others against violent home and business invasions and attacks in general. Not only is his statement irrational, it also seriously interferes with citizens’ constitutional rights to life, bodily integrity and property. To have rights but without the means to enforce such rights is useless, bearing in mind that, when a violent attack is imminent, most people do not have body guards present to protect them, neither are police officers on the scene and you do not have the luxury to apply for an interdict. Ordinary people remain the first, and often only, responders to crime. And while we have so often stated that one should avoid crime hot-spots, thereby preventing crime, it is totally unreasonable to expect citizens not to enjoy life, travel around and generally carrying on with their lives.

Hunting, sport shooting and collecting of firearms and ammunition are internationally and nationally recognised activities in which free people participate. And while the greater majority of these people neither commit nor contribute to crime, their rights should not be interfered with.

The minister continued: “It’s important to say that we are looking at the next batch [to be destructed] and we are trying to squeeze in the time for that so that we don’t keep these guns in the crime market for very long,”. SAGA fully agrees that for the police to keep these seized and surrendered firearms constitutes a serious risk since these firearms may (will?) sooner or later find their way to criminals. It must be borne in mind, though, that all confiscated firearms need to be inspected by or on behalf of the South African Heritage Resources Agency to ensure that no firearms of heritage value are destroyed.

The minister must concern himself and his police officials with their primary function – crime fighting, including removing illegally possessed firearms from society. When all crime is reduced to acceptable levels, many may stop carrying firearms for self-defence (and the minister would have achieved his goal) while hunters, sportsmen and collectors can continue to participate in their lawful activities without being concerned about irresponsible political threats. This is a win-win situation, excepting for criminals.

 

Link to List of Firearms March 2019

With regard to our email yesterday, please find below a link to the page on the SAPS website which gives a list of provinces with the firearms they intend to destroy.

https://www.saps.gov.za/resource_centre/notices/notices_firearm_destr.php

Destruction of Firearms
Destruction of Firearms Gazette 42284 Destruction 6Mar2019
Gazette 42284 Destruction 6Mar2019.pdf (227.33KB)
Destruction of Firearms
Destruction of Firearms Gazette 42284 Destruction 6Mar2019
Gazette 42284 Destruction 6Mar2019.pdf (227.33KB)


4 No. 42284 GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, 6 MARCH 2019
Government notices • GoewermentskennisGewinGs
Police, Department of/ Polisie, Departement van
DEPARTMENT OF POLICE

NOTICE IN TERMS OF SECTION 136 (1) OF THE FIREARMS CONTROL ACT, 2000
(ACT NO. 60 OF 2000)
By virtue of the powers vested in me by section 136 (1) of the Firearms Control Act, 2000
(Act No. 60 of 2000), I Khehla John Sitole, National Commissioner of the South African Police
Service, in my capacity as Registrar of Firearms as contemplated in section 123 of the said
Act, hereby give notice that the State intends to destroy all firearms, ammunition as well as
firearms parts, listed in the website below, that were voluntarily surrendered to or forfeited to
the State.

Interested parties can visit the South African Police Service website at www.saps.gov.za
, for a list of firearms, ammunition of firearm parts intended to be destroyed by the State.
In terms of section 136 (2) of the Firearms Control Act, 2000 (Act No. 60 of 2000), any person
who has a valid claim to such firearm(s) or ammunition or such firearm part(s) may, within 21 days after the date of publication of this notice, make representations to me as to why such firearm(s) or ammunition or such firearm part(s) should not be destroyed. The representations must contain complete information of the firearm(s), ammunition or firearm part(s) and the police station where the firearm(s) ammunition and firearm part(s) were surrendered to or forfeited to the State.

By Post: The National Commissioner (Registrar)
South African Police Service
Private Bag x811
PRETORIA
0001
This gazette is also available free online at www.gpwonline.co.za
4 No. 42284 GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, 6 MARCH 2019
Government notices • GoewermentskennisGewinGs
Police, Department of/ Polisie, Departement van
DEPARTMENT OF POLICE
NO.

SAGA Release 14 November 2018
SAGA Release 14 November 2018
SAGA Release 14 November 2018.pdf (6.55KB)
SAGA Release 14 November 2018
SAGA Release 14 November 2018
SAGA Release 14 November 2018.pdf (6.55KB)


SAGA Release 14 November 2018
Subject: Parliamentary Question about FCA amendment

Dear Member,
On 12 November 2018, The Mercury and Pretoria News newspapers carried an article in which it alluded to Police Minister Bheki Cele's response to a parliamentary question about the recently leaked draft amendment bill to the Firearms Control Act. In this regard IT WAS REPORTED that the minister confirmed in a written response that the process to amend the Act was 'at an advanced stage.'

The Freedom Front Plus's Pieter Groenewald further asked whether Cele intended to amend the Firearms Control Act to provide for the category to possess a firearm for self-defence to be deleted. He also wanted to know the reasons for the amendment and asked to be furnished with details of the proposed amendment.

The proposed amendments, which have been roundly and vociferously debated in social media are of significant concern to all those who would choose to exercise their right to possess a firearm for hunting, sporting or self-defence reasons. Notwithstanding the fact that these proposals may indicate the thinking and end-goals of certain elements of the police and government, they do on the face of it directly impinge on specific guarantees in our Bill of Rights.

Stripping citizens in one of the most violent countries in the world of their means of self-defence (security from violence - both public and private) will most certainly not be an easy undertaking for those who seek to bring this legislation into reality. At this time, there is a groundswell of cooperation amongst the predominant firearms associations in South Africa. There will inevitably be some different approaches to opposing this nonsensical draft, but in the end we are all moving in the same direction.

While we await the publishing of the amendments we wish to assure members that all lawful measures will be employed to oppose any unreasonable legislation.

SAGA Update on Expired Licences
SAGA Update on Expired Licences
SAGA Release 12 November2018.pdf (394.06KB)
SAGA Update on Expired Licences
SAGA Update on Expired Licences
SAGA Release 12 November2018.pdf (394.06KB)


Subject: SAGA Update on Expired Licences
12 November 2018
Dear Member,
On the 7th November 2018, GOSA released a media statement concerning their interim Order and Judgment obtained on the 27th July 2018, which Order was against the National Commissioner of Police and the Minister of Police.
 
SAGA had previously reported on the judgment from the 27th July 2018 in our SAGA news bulletins dated 29th July, 4th August and 10th September 2018 wherein we dealt with and reported on the written Judgment from the GOSA Court case.
 
It is not the intention of this release to discuss or deal with the GOSA media release from the 7th November 2018. We are aware that some parties have criticised the GOSA media release, but for the sake of clarity, and because we have received a number of queries from our members, we wish to advise as follows:
 
    1.    The Judgment obtained by GOSA on 27th July 2018 obtained interim relief against the SAPS in that SAPS were prohibited from implementing any plans of action, or from accepting any firearms for which the licence had expired at its police stations or any place, and SAPS were prohibited from demanding that such firearms be handed over to them for the sole reason that the licence of such firearm had expired.
 
    2.    The rest of the Judgment dealt with further relief that GOSA had applied for, but it was clearly indicated that the rest of the relief would be dealt with in the main application, once the main application had been set down for trial.
 
To be clear, we wish to advise that the Judgment from the 27th July 2018, does not allow or provide for any further relief. Thus, SAGA members or any person for that matter, who is in possession of a firearm with an expired licence, may still not renew the licence at their police station and they cannot apply for a licence for such firearm yet.
 
Therefore at this point, there is no possibility of SAPS accepting any applications for late renewal of a firearm licence after it has expired, nor will SAPS even process such applications.
 
As soon as we have been made aware of the trial date for the main application, we will advise our  members.

We will also be publishing another newsletter concerning the private bill of Dr. Pieter Groenewald of the Freedom Front Plus, which Bill was discussed at Parliament on 6th November 2018. This bill seeks to amend Section 24 and Section 28 of the Firearms Control Act, and which Bill directly deals with the renewal of firearm licences, where either the application is brought late or after the licence has expired.

CHANGES TO FIREARM LAW SAGA RELEASE 17 OCTOBER 2018
SAGA RELEASE 17 OCTOBER 2018
SAGA Amendment Bill Release 17Oct2018.pdf (400.32KB)
CHANGES TO FIREARM LAW SAGA RELEASE 17 OCTOBER 2018
SAGA RELEASE 17 OCTOBER 2018
SAGA Amendment Bill Release 17Oct2018.pdf (400.32KB)
Annexure A. Firearm Control Amendment Bill
Annexure A. Firearm Control Amendment Bill
Annexure A. Firearm Control Amendment Bill.pdf (4.22MB)
Annexure A. Firearm Control Amendment Bill
Annexure A. Firearm Control Amendment Bill
Annexure A. Firearm Control Amendment Bill.pdf (4.22MB)

SAGA RELEASE 17 OCTOBER 2018

GOVERNMENT WANTS TO FORCE SOUTH AFRICANS TO FACE EVIL WITH EMPTY HANDS

Early yesterday a so-called draft Firearms Control Amendment Bill of 2017 (clearly endorsed “draft do not copy” on every one of its 148 pages), was circulated on social media. It appears that this document has not been officially distributed by government: firstly, it ought to have been approved by cabinet (which did not happen); and secondly, it should have been published in the Government Gazette by the Minister of Police.

SAGA does not know what the origin of this so-called draft bill is, or who distributed it. Accordingly, SAGA will not react to it. We are aware that the parliamentary programme for 2018 is almost finalised and we doubt whether the Portfolio Committee on Police will deal with any legislation at this late stage. We also expect that all political parties will from now on be fully absorbed by their respective election campaigns and we further doubt whether any attention will be given to fresh legislation until after the elections, the re-establishment of parliamentary committees and re-appointment of members.

The draft document seeks to introduce draconian provisions to the Firearms Control Act, such as scrapping provisions allowing for the possession of self-defence firearms; drastically reducing the number of firearms that dedicated sport shooters and dedicated hunters may possess; drastically amending provisions pertaining to private firearm collectors; reducing the period of validity of competency certificates; introducing stricter requirements for competency; introducing the provision of so-called “valid reasons” for wanting to own firearms; the establishment of a consultative forum, however, without any representative of the firearms community serving on it; and (again) introducing ballistic sampling as a requirement for possession of firearms. These are a few of the proposed amendments contained therein. The PDF document is available on our website.

If this document reflects government’s views towards private firearm ownership, and if this is what government intends introducing as law, then SAGA and the whole firearms community must prepare for “battle”. That said, in a media statement just released, the chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Police has denied knowledge of the draft bill. For the moment we can only advise SAGA members and law-abiding firearm owners of the so-called draft bill and confirm we are following up on this document and will keep you informed of developments.

In the meantime, stay safe and use your firearms safely and responsibly.



Government Gazette, Notice 531 of 2018 - Notice of Intent to Introduce a Private Member's Bill and Invitation for Comment on the Proposed Firearms Control Bill, 2018

Government GazNotice of Intent to Introduce a Private Member's Bill and Invitation for Comment on the Proposed Firearms Control Bill 2018
Government GazNotice of Intent to Introduce a Private Member's Bill and Invitation for Comment on the Proposed Firearms Control Bill 2018
Gazette 41881.pdf (181.5KB)
Government GazNotice of Intent to Introduce a Private Member's Bill and Invitation for Comment on the Proposed Firearms Control Bill 2018
Government GazNotice of Intent to Introduce a Private Member's Bill and Invitation for Comment on the Proposed Firearms Control Bill 2018
Gazette 41881.pdf (181.5KB)



Expired Licence Documentation of Interest:

1. Court Order 27 July 2018

2. Police Directive pursuant to GOSA interim order

3. GOSA v Min of Police Leave to Appeal

Court Order 27 July 2018
Court Order 27 July 2018
Court Order 27 July 2018.pdf (172.33KB)
Court Order 27 July 2018
Court Order 27 July 2018
Court Order 27 July 2018.pdf (172.33KB)
Police Directive pursuant to GOSA interim order
Police Directive pursuant to GOSA interim order
Police Directive pursuant to GOSA interim order.pdf (453.78KB)
Police Directive pursuant to GOSA interim order
Police Directive pursuant to GOSA interim order
Police Directive pursuant to GOSA interim order.pdf (453.78KB)
GOSA v Min of Police Leave to Appeal
GOSA v Min of Police Leave to Appeal
GOSA v Min of Police Leave to Appeal (LM)20180808.pdf (229.2KB)
GOSA v Min of Police Leave to Appeal
GOSA v Min of Police Leave to Appeal
GOSA v Min of Police Leave to Appeal (LM)20180808.pdf (229.2KB)



UPDATE ON EXPIRED FIREARM LICENCES 3 AUGUST 2018

Dear SAGA Members,

In the July SAGA Snippets, we reported on GOSA's success in obtaining interim relief against the Minister of Police and the National Commissioner on Friday the 27th July 2018.

SAGA is still waiting on the written Order of Court to be able to advise our members in full, but in the interim, the National Commissioner, General Sitole, issued a Directive on the 30th July 2018, a copy of which is attached (SAPS 30July2018).  

The main points from the Directive are as follows:

1. It confirms that pending the main application, SAPS have been interdicted from demanding that persons with firearms with expired licences,  surrender such firearms.

2. That the period for renewal will be extended on “good cause shown”.

3. That any person that had lodged an application for renewal, and If such person was able to show “good cause”, that while such application is being dealt with, that the applicant would be deemed to be in lawful possession until the application is decided upon.

4. Those persons who have already surrendered their firearm/s as a result of the Constitutional Court decision, may approach their local DFO and request that the firearm be returned to them.

5. Point 1.4 in the Directive appears to be a typographical error.

As soon as we have more information we will advise our members.


UPDATE ON EXPIRED FIREARM LICENCES 3 AUGUST 2018
UPDATE ON EXPIRED FIREARM LICENCES 3 AUGUST 2018
SAPS 30July2018.pdf (453.78KB)
UPDATE ON EXPIRED FIREARM LICENCES 3 AUGUST 2018
UPDATE ON EXPIRED FIREARM LICENCES 3 AUGUST 2018
SAPS 30July2018.pdf (453.78KB)


SAGA Update on Firearms Amnesty
 
27 July 2018

On the 9th July 2018, the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, said in a radio interview that he intended proclaiming an amnesty to allow those in possession of firearms with expired licences to surrender them to the police. At the same time he also said that the police will not be on a witch-hunt searching for people and firearms, the licences of which had expired. He commented that as a result of the Constitutional Court judgement, many people are currently in possession of firearms with expired licences.
 
Despite the National Commissioner’s undertaking to provide guidelines for the surrender of these firearms with expired licences, this has not yet happened. It is important to note though, that Gen Sitole did say that since the amnesty falls within the Minister’s discretion and mandate, and he was unable to express an opinion about it.

Earlier this week SAGA Trustee John Welch was interviewed by the media on SAGA’s views about the proposed amnesty. He stated that under normal circumstances SAGA does not favour amnesties since very few, if any, firearms were surrendered by “real” criminals – those who murder, steal and rape. Also, during the two previous amnesties not a single surrendered firearm could be linked to any crime.
 
However, in light of the recent Constitutional Court’s ruling that should a licence holder have failed to timeously apply for the renewal of her/his licence, after the expiry of that licence, she/he will have in their possession an unlicenced firearm and could thus be criminalised.
Because of this intolerable state of affairs SAGA, and other members of the firearms community, have tried to engage the police with proposals to alleviate the plight of those affected persons. In the meantime, at least two organisations have brought court applications to obtain relief for people with firearms with expired licences. We will keep our members informed of the outcomes of these court cases.
 
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Police (PPCoP) has been informed that they will be requested to debate and consider the amnesty request. This debate may happen on 16 August 2018. SAGA has already communicated with some of the Portfolio Committee members with a view to influencing the deliberations.
 
SAGA believes that the amnesty must provide not only for the persons with expired firearms licences, but also for such interested persons to apply for licences for their affected firearms. And further, that the duration of the amnesty should be at least six months to enable such persons to carefully consider what they wish to do.
 
We also believe the Minister should be permitted to extend the period of the amnesty should it be deemed necessary. SAGA will ensure that it has representation in the Parliamentary Committee to guide, if necessary or required, those committee members who care to ask advice.
 
SAGA would also like the Portfolio Committee and the Minister of Police to consider our proposal to reduce the logistics of the amnesty by permitting such persons to retain possession of their affected firearms (by keeping them in their safes), and then to apply for a new licence. This will prevent firearms from being stolen or going missing from SAPS 13 stores.
 
SAGA members are reminded that every free and law-abiding person has the right to make choices – no person should be forced into decisions, and government should not make choices on behalf of the people.
 
Citizens who believe that the burden of owning a firearm is just too much should consider surrendering their firearms. However, those who believe that a firearm may make the difference in protecting lives, or wish to continue sport shooting and/or hunting and remain responsible for keeping their firearms safe, and comply with the law by applying for relicencing for as long as it is required, must be allowed to obtain new licences and keep their firearms.
         


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WHAT IS SAGA ABOUT

The South African Gunowners' Association (SAGA) is a non-profit, non-discriminatory organization, whose sole purpose is to represent the interests of all people who embrace the principles of safe and responsible ownership and usage of firearms for sport, recreation, hunting and self-defence.
        
SAGA is the watchdog that endeavours to safeguard the rights of the South African public by engaging government in discussion regarding firearm related issues and to provide technical assistance and expertise where needed. This is achieved by collecting and disseminating information regarding all aspects of the legitimate use of firearms. This is to enable responsible, non-discriminatory and enforceable legislation that would benefit all South Africans, irrespective of race, colour or creed.

World Forum on Shooting Activities  (WFSA)

The World Forum on Sport Shooting Activities (WFSA) is an ECOSOC NGO at United Nations representing over 100 million hunters and sport shooters.  We also represent most of the major civilian firearms and ammunition manufacturers. SAGA is a paid up voting member and is represented on the EXCO.

 If you want to get in touch with SAGA, just click on Contact.  

 Enjoy your visit!