The SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association (SA Hunters) is calling on the public to abide by existing firearm laws until the current legal challenge on the constitutionality of Sections 24 and 28 of the Firearms Control Act has been concluded in the Constitutional Court.
SA Hunters CEO, Fred Camphor said the association is concerned about misleading and incorrect advice about the status of firearm licences and the renewal process that has appeared in newspapers and on social media during the past week. This so-called advice ranged from “you do not need to apply for re-licensing your firearm any longer” to “ask your firearm back from the Police station where you handed it in”.
“The law has not changed. The South African Police Department’s (SAPS) notice to appeal against the Gauteng North High Court judgement on 4 July that declared Sections 24 and 28 unconstitutional, suspends the High Court ruling. We are waiting for a clarification from the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court on the legal process following the SAPS’ notice of appeal.”
Camphor said the Association sent a newsletter to its 41 000 members to request them to be patient and to act within the constraints of the Act and the legal process. “Civil disobedience is not a remedy for a complex problem. We request all firearm owners to act responsibly.”
SA Hunters shares the following advice with regards to abiding by firearm laws:
- If your firearm licence is due to lapse, please apply in good time for the renewal of that licence. Complete the application, attach the required documents and submit it to the designated firearms officer at your local police station as required by law.
- If you have already handed in a firearm to the Police, retain the proof thereof very carefully. Do not ask the police to return your firearm. They will not do it.
- If you are in possession of a firearm of which the licence has lapsed, please keep it locked away in your safe and preferably do not use it.
In a press statement last week, the SAPS promised that they would not prosecute any person for being in possession of a firearm of which the licence had lapsed, and they would not destroy any firearms already handed in to the SAPS prior to the Court decision being received.
“The Constitutional Court is in recess until the end of July and I doubt if we will receive any directives before mid-August,” Camphor said. –Press release