11 February 2016
SPECIAL NEWSLETTER ON RENEWAL OF FIREARM LICENSES
In at least the last two newsletters I deliberately requested members of SA Hunters to please check the validity of firearms licenses and if any license lapsed, to apply for the renewal of your license as soon as possible. What we were concerned about has now happened and the proverbial dung has hit the fan.
Lt Gen Phahlane today issued a Directive to all DFO’s to instruct them that if a person wants to renew or apply for a license for a firearm of which the existing license has already expired, the person must be informed that he/she is not anymore in lawful possession of the firearm and the firearm must be surrendered to the nearest police station.
Furthermore the instruction reads that when a firearm of which the license has expired is voluntarily surrendered, the owner will not be prosecuted. While it is not explicitly stated, it could also be interpreted to mean that if such firearm is not surrendered to the police, the owner may be prosecuted for unlawful possession of the firearm.
Unfortunately the directive does not provide any guidance on whether the owner of such a firearm will be allowed to apply for the renewal of the license, or for what purpose the firearm must be surrendered (mere safekeeping until the renewal application will be decided, or destruction of the firearm). A copy of the Directive is attached to this newsletter for your information.
We urge all members to please check the validity of all your firearm licenses. If you have any license that expired and you did not apply for the renewal of the license yet, please be extremely careful and ensure that you prepare the application for renewal of the license and the supporting documentation as soon as possible to be able to hand it in to your DFO.
SAHGCA Management already has already done the following
- We raised concerns around the relicensing process with the Police Management since October last year
- We had a discussion with Lt Gen Sithole in November 2015 and presented possible alternatives in a letter to him dated early November 2015.
- We had a meeting with representatives of the Portfolio Committee on Police on this matter.
- We are attempting to clarify some of the problems and concerns with the SAPS management as an extremely urgent matter that is of huge concern.
We would like our members to as far as possible rather remain within the requirements of the Act.
As we make any progress in this matter I will attempt to keep you informed. Should you have any questions in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact either myself or Petrus Swart at the SAHGCA office at (012) 8089300