Social media such as Facebook posts and WhatsApp messages, as well as radio and newspapers are our main sources of information. Although we have these media at our disposal, we must be weary of the fact that these can be misused and abused by the wrong people in terms of the true essence of the story. For example, we receive on a weekly basis the same WhatsApp message about the Northern Gauteng High Court’s decision in the matter of Minister of Safety and Security v South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association  ZACC, namely that sections 24 and 28 of the Firearms Control Act, 2000 (Act No 60 of 2000) (the FCA), are unconstitutional. However, this decision was overturned by the Constitutional Court earlier this year, which means that the decision of the Northern Gauteng High Court is of no effect and force.
Luckily for gun owners in South Africa, there are outstanding litigation against the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Minister of Safety and Security by the Gun Owners of South Africa (GOSA) and the South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association, (SAHGCA) in the so-called “green licenses case” of 2009. This provides interim protection for gunowners of South Africa. Moreover, we are still awaiting the process of the possible amnesty of the SAPS, which was promised to firearm owners.
Taking all the above into account, it is safe to say that the current situation in terms of firearms in South Africa is one of complete disorder.
This article and table should not be considered a formal legal opinion, but rather to guide you in your rights and responsibilities in terms of the FCA.
So: What is the status of your licence, and what should your next step be? Let’s get started:
On 6 November 2018, Dr Groenewald of the Freedom Front Plus party introduced the proposed Firearm Control Amendment Bill to the parliamentary portfolio committee that applies to the SAPS. Read our story in this regard here: https://hfglaw.co.za/blog/item/27-proposed-amendment-to-the-firearms-control-act-2000. If the proposed amendment is accepted by the Parliament of South Africa, it may bring welcome relief for firearm owners with expired licences.
We must humbly admit that the suggestions and advice given here cannot be regarded as set in stone. There are various other factors that may affect the outcome of applications and the status thereof. It is therefore advisable to always consult with your firearm law specialist regarding your firearms and the applicability of relevant legislation. Don’t be penny wise, pound foolish: Act proactively!
(This article is an information piece and not a formal legal opinion. HFG Attorneys accepts no liability for damages caused by errors and omissions.)
HF Gonzales was admitted as an Attorney on 16 April 2014 where after he obtained experience in various fields of the law. The owner is currently a member of the council of the University of Stellenbosch, where he strives to serve the students of the university with dignity based on principle.