WELCOME TO SOUTH AFRICAN GUNOWNERS’ ASSOCIATION
SAGA Media Release – Minister of Police’s Appeal against GOSA’s Interdict
Earlier today, 23rd July 2020, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein handed down Judgment electronically.
The SCA upheld the Minister of Police and National Commissioner’s Appeal which had been heard on the 22 nd May 2020, and set aside with costs, GOSA’s interim order.
As a result, the former Interim Interdict obtained by GOSA, in favour of those licence holders in possession of expired licences, no longer offers any protection.
We appeal to our members and the general public to allow us time to study the SCA Order in detail. Thereafter we will issue a further release with more information.
The SAGA Trust
SAGA MEDIA RELEASE: 8 May 2020
SAPS DIRECTIVE DATED 7TH MAY 2020 ON FIREARM LICENCE RENEWALS AND FIREARM
Major General Mamotheti, the Component Head of FLASH on the 7th May 2020, issued a Directive with regard to firearm licensing during lockdown. A Pdf of the Directive is on our website.
In terms of this Directive, those persons who have firearm licences that need to be renewed during the lockdown may now do so, as well as renew their competencies, as long as the licence has not expired.
All DFO’s throughout the country must now accept the above applications.
SAGA, among others, have during the lockdown period, played a large part in keeping up the pressure on the Minster and General Mamotheti to ensure that those firearm licence holders who need to renew their licences may now do so, and that those who want to utilise the amnesty can do so.
For those persons whose licences have expired during the lockdown period, there is unfortunately still no relief for them, and such persons may only submit an application in terms of the amnesty and must submit a new licence and competency application. SAGA is still awaiting on a response from the Minister to our letter of the 30th April 2020, about this issue and we will advise as soon as we have received a response.
If any SAGA member has any problems with the submission of a firearm licence or competency renewal or a firearm licence application in terms of the amnesty, please email SAGA on email@example.com.
SAGA MEDIA STATEMENT: 5 March 2020
SAGA, on behalf of South Africa’s responsible and law-abiding gun owners, take exception to and condemn Police Minister Cele’s recent remarks that “it would be better when ordinary citizens of South Africa are not armed”. Better for whom? And why must ordinary citizens be distinguished from protected politicians, the military and the police? Is the minister’s viewpoint that some people are more equal than others?
This must be the third of fourth time the minister said that. Is that his personal viewpoint or is that the ANC’s? And does he believe crime will automatically disappear? While criminals have access to smuggled firearms and those lost by and stolen from the police and the military, they will always be armed. SAGA reiterates that not a single robbery committed with automatic rifles (shopping mall and cash-in-transit heists) has been committed with firearms stolen from licensed firearm owners. While it is true that private citizens’ firearms are robbed and stolen from them and they also lose firearms, this is regretted, but inevitable. Unfortunately, the focus is on the victim rather than the criminal, hence the call for civilian disarmament.
While SAGA applauds all the good efforts, often under difficult circumstances, by the SAPS, the men and women in blue are incapable of protecting South African citizens (while South Africa is one of the most violent countries, it also has just been declared third on the list for economic crimes). Armed citizens are, and remain, the first responders to violent crime. Not only do armed citizens feel safe when carrying a firearm for personal defence, others in their vicinity are also safe. Responsible and law-abiding gun-owners are honourable and unselfish people – the are willing to protect their loved ones and others they do not even know.
Minister Cele seems not to heed to advice, at least not that coming from ordinary citizens – he has often been told to address criminality at the roots, by ensuring efficient crime-intelligence gathering and effective law enforcement, including crime prevention.
Many more law-abiding citizens will support the minister’s crime-fighting endeavours if he not make statements that anger them. And the statement that angers these citizens most is that they are not trusted and respected. A responsible and law-abiding citizen, Mr. Minister, is one you must respect and can trust; one who wishes to exercise her or his constitutional right of freedom of choice regarding organisations which to belong to, activities which to participate in, and whether or not to legally possess and carry firearms for personal protection - she or he is the one that you want on your side. You cannot afford, in your crime-fighting endeavours, to alienate these people.
This statement is issued in the interest of all law-abiding and responsible firearm owners’ right to possess, carry and use firearms for lawful purposes.
SAGA MEDIA STATEMENT on the Minister of Police’s Remarks regarding the amendment bill further restricting the possession of firearms by civilians
16 January 2020
SAGA condemns the irresponsible remarks made by the Minister of Police on 14 January 2020 at an occasion where a licensed firearms dealer elected to make use of the amnesty and surrendered almost 300 firearms and a few thousand rounds of ammunition.
The Minister showed his ignorance when he accused guns of causing violence while at the same time referring to proposed amendments to the Firearms Control Act, which, inter alia would restrict a person to owning not more than one firearm.
In fact, and not for the first time, the Minister disclosed his personal agenda (or is that the ANC’s agenda?) by stating that he would prefer that private citizens should not own firearms at all. This is an unambiguous indication of the government’s intention to disarm civilians. Further, this is a clear signal that the government pays mere lip-service to the constitutional rights of free and responsible citizens. Perhaps his advisors should tell the Minister that if guns cause crime, then pencils cause spelling mistakes and cameras cause pornography.
The Minister should further be informed that no politician who supports gun control should get armed protection paid for by those he tries to disarm. When the Minister referred to one firearm, did he have in mind one firearm for self-defence or one firearm for self-defence, sport shooting and hunting? It was not reported what he had in mind. Probably best so, because if he had self-defence firearms in mind, he should know that the current Act already restricts a person to a single self-defence firearm.
Towards the end of 2014 a draft amendment bill was published, which was then debated by pro- and anti-gun groups during a firearms summit in the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Police (PPCoP), March 2015. Following this debate the chairman of the PPCoP was critical towards the police and instructed them to present a revised version before the end of that year. This never happened, neither did it happen any of the following years, until an apparent draft bill was leaked during 2018. As this draft bill contained numerous objectionable provisions, a meeting was convened with the Civilian Secretariat of Police, who “ducked and dived” all questions. They did not have the decency to admit or deny whether the leaked bill was the one that was drafted by the Secretariat and presented to the Minister. If ever you thought the dark days of secrecy and dishonesty were something of the past – think again!
SAGA has stated ad nauseum that crime is committed by people who have no respect for the law. Currently they are lawless … and they will continue to be lawless. Should firearms be removed from the hands of responsible citizens, they will all just be easier victims – victims who would be unable to defend themselves against violent criminals.
And then the Minister still has the audacity to state that only the military and the police should be armed. With a reaction time of more than 20 minutes on average throughout South Africa, this is no consolation. The lack of discipline; low productivity; and the high rate of criminality, including corruption, theft and loss of firearms, at all levels in the police service is a major contributing factor for the distrust that citizens have of the police.
SAGA believes that the Minister must focus his undivided attention on these matters rather than the law-abiding responsible citizen. The psychologically and physically prepared armed citizen remains the first responder to violent crime.
SAGA MEDIA STATEMENT: Change to Firearms Amnesty
15 January 2020
Following the declaration of the firearms amnesty by the Minister of Police from 1 December 2019 until 31 May 2020, the National Hunting and Sport Shooting Association (NHSA or Natshoot) decided to contest the validity of the amnesty declaration, and, since only 14 days were granted during which a person who surrendered a firearm with an expired licence could apply for a new licence for such firearm, they further contended that the matter was considered urgent.
At yesterday’s hearing in the North Gauteng High Court, the matter was settled out of court. NHSA agreed to withdraw the application and not to bring further action against the Minister regarding the amnesty, whilst the Minister (through his police officers and the State Attorney) agreed that an applicant for a firearm licence, whose competency certificate has lapsed, could simultaneously apply for a fresh competency certificate. This agreement by the police resulted in a change to their internal policy, which previously stated that an applicant for a firearm licence needed to be in possession of a valid competency certificate prior to applying for a licence. The parties further agreed to pay their own legal costs.
The Minister stated that: “When the amnesty period lapses in May, rest assured the law will be tough on those who persist on carrying guns that are not licenced.”
SAGA has already pointed out that both the amnesty notice and the amnesty process were flawed. For instance, although the amnesty kicked in on 1 December 2019, the notice was purportedly signed on 28 August 2019; and, although the amnesty was approved by parliament, the notice never was. However, since NHSA has now withdrawn their litigation, we must accept that the flawed process and notice are condoned.
The only “protection” people with expired firearm licences currently have is the temporary interdict that GOSA obtained against the police. The police were granted permission to appeal this decision on the interdict to the Supreme Court of Appeal, however, they need to apply for condonation for the late submission of documents, and, even if granted, it is uncertain when the appeal will be heard. Should the appeal be upheld and the interdict set aside only after the amnesty has come to an end, people in possession of firearms with expired licences may find themselves in a serious predicament in that they may be arrested and charged for being in possession of unlicenced firearms.
People in possession of unwanted firearms with a licence under the old Act or in terms of the FCA with current and valid licences, have no problem since these could at any time be transferred to a licenced arms dealer.
SAGA advises that those who have failed to renew their firearm licences and wish to surrender a firearm with an expired licence with a view to applying for a fresh licence, must surrender the firearm and ammunition to any Designated Amnesty Official at a police station (excluding those mentioned in the amended annexure to the amnesty declaration), and immediately give notice of your intention to apply for a licence. Then within 14 days of the surrender of the firearm, you must apply for the competency and licence with the Designated Firearms Officer at the police district in which your home or business is situated.
SAGA further advises those who take advantage of the amnesty to make copies of all documents filled out and submitted; to obtain a receipt for the firearm(s) and ammunition; and to carefully photograph the firearm(s) and ammunition.
SAGA remains concerned about security measures at police stations and the regular theft, and loss of, firearms and ammunition from the police.
SAGA promotes a safe environment in which all people can live in peace and harmony and where law-abiding citizens can exercise all their rights and freedoms. However, because of the high rate of criminality in South Africa, free and responsible citizens have the right to defend themselves and others against all unlawful and violent attacks and to be armed if they choose to do so.
SAGA Release on Unlawful Shootings
6 January 2020
The recent spate of unlawful shootings, especially in the Johannesburg area, over the festive season, once again indicates the lawlessness and the immaturity of some of the inhabitants of our country. These unlawful shootings, some of which killed or injured innocent people, and numerous other criminal acts, are typical examples of why the government should take the blame for its incompetence and inability to make South Africa a place where its inhabitants are, and feel, safe. In addition, there are people who do their best to destabilize our country, people who do not care about the national and international consequences of their criminal activities. And, as usual, government and the anti-gun lobby, will not focus on these atrocious deeds but on the instruments that were used. Rather than focussing on generally law-abiding citizens who had forgotten, for whatever reason, to renew their licenses to possess firearms, the full force of law enforcement should be focussed on ridding society of criminals and the tools they use to commit their evil deeds.
Responsible, law-abiding, free citizens did not commit these crimes but it is convenient to blame inanimate objects, such as firearms. Since these illegally possessed firearms have probably not been recovered, there can be no indication of their source. For Gun Free SA, the most obvious source is the licensed firearms’ owner, conveniently neglecting the large number of firearms that have been stolen from, or lost by, governmental agencies (mostly the military and police); those illegally smuggled into the country; and the stockpiles of former organisations’ firearms that have not been uncovered.
Recently Gun Free SA once again stated that “the shootings in Johannesburg during the New Year’s celebrations show that firearms are readily available on South African streets”. It appears that the anti-gun lobby thrive on these unlawful criminal incidents. It is not a matter of guns – it is a matter of criminality. Since time immemorial, and long before the advent of firearms, violent crimes have been committed. Had there been no firearms, these criminals would find other means to commit their evil deeds. Let us be reminded that most of the horrific genocides of the previous century were committed with means other than firearms and most of the recent serious mass murders were not committed with firearms. Often the armed citizen (not the police), is the thin line between safety, law and order and anarchy. The killing of a potential mass murderer in a church in America is a typical example, which, incidentally, is not unlike what Charl van Wyk did in a church in Cape Town a few decades ago.
Together with their family and friends, SAGA mourns the death of all innocent people who died as a result of these unlawful shootings and we wish those who were injured a speedy recovery. We also wish the police well in their endeavours to investigate these atrocious deeds and bring to justice these irresponsible criminals.
However, until the President, the Minister of Police, and the government, seriously and objectively consider crime and the impact thereof on all the peoples of our country, and our international relations and economy, they would but be addressing a symptom of the illness. Now is the time for government to show real commitment – focus on the real criminals, the murderers, robbers, thieves, gangs, etc, not on those who have gone through the trouble to obtain licenses for their firearms, and because of a complicated system which the police fail to effectively administer, the few people who had failed to renew their licenses.
FIREARMS CONTROL ACT, 2000 (ACT NO. 60 OF 2000)
AMENDMENT OF NOTICE 1527 DATED 27 NOVEMBER 2019
The Minister of Police has, under section 139 of the Firearms Control Act, 2000 (Act No. 60 of 2000) amended Notice 1527, dated 27 November 2019, as set out in the Schedule. The Notice is issued in pursuance of the approval by the
National Assembly on 21 November 2019 of the Report of Portfolio Committee on Police on Firearms Amnesty Declaration (Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports, 31 October 2019, p 8) (Minutes of Proceedings of the National Assembly No. 31 of 2019).
In this notice, "the Notice" means the declaration of amnesty in terms of section 139 of the Firearms Control Act, 2000 (Act No. 60 of 2000), promulgated in Notice 1527, dated 27 November 2019.
2. Amendment of the Notice
(1) The date of signature as reflected in the Notice is substituted to read "27 November 2019"
(2) The Notice is hereby amended by substitution for the Annexure to the Notice with the following Annexure:
The following police stations are excluded in terms of paragraph (a) of the Notice.
The above mentioned police stations will not accept firearms and ammunition in terms of this declaration of Amnesty, until otherwise determined by the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service."
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.
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