Our reference: JM328 (MDB) / Johan Martin
By electronic mail
10 December 2020
The Head (Brigadier Mabule)
RE: LETTER OF REQUEST TO DECLARE A THIRD TERM / NEW AMNESTY PERIOD OR TO ALLOW DEALERS / GUNSMITHS TO FREELY PARTICIPATE IN THE CURRENT AMNESTY PERIOD & URGENTLY ISSUING A SPECIFIC STANDARD OPERATING POLICY LETTER TO AMNESTY FIREARM OFFICERS ON HOW TO PROCCESS SUCH APPLICATIONS
- Our telephonic conversation today about same, refers. Thank you for taking my call.
2. We refer you to a similar letter drafted by my colleague Mr Martin Hood & Associates Attorneys dated 4 December 2020, which we are sure you have knowledge of, addressed to the Minister of Police. We attach the letter for your convenience.
- We are in full support of Mr Hood’s opinion and notion in this letter and wish not to elaborate on same, but rather to volunteer more frustrations encountered by dealers and gunsmiths during these “trying times”.
- Therefore, we refer you to the SAPS National Firearm Amnesty Guidelines letter dated 28 November 2019 with reference 27/5/2/1, as well as the more recent 2nd SAPS policy letter about same, with similar reference dated 8 December 2020, containing additional guidelines, in line with the recent court order granted by the High Court, Gauteng Division, in that the police must accept applications from any person who physically surrender a firearm or parts thereof at a police station and to process new applications for such firearms or parts submitted by such persons.
- Writer, having specialized in the administration & legal aspects of the Act for the past 15 years, were recently approached by some firearm dealers and gunsmiths who were turned away at police station level wanting to hand over and apply for licences for illegal firearms / parts to be licensed / taken on stock, whatever the procedure for that may be.
Although institutions, they are by definition also “persons” in terms of the amnesty declaration, as such also confirmed in the 1st guidelines letter dated 28 November 2019 and by the recent court order mentioned above, thus, that dealers and gunsmiths may also take part in this process and more specifically apply to “licence” such firearms or parts.
- Our inference as to why dealers & gunsmith (“applicants”), are turned away at station level is most probably because there has not been a clear policy on operational procedures in place for the Amnesty Firearm Officer to:
- 6.1. assist and process such an application to licence or transfer the firearms or parts to the applicant’s stock register, for instance, what police forms to be used and what entails a motivation to be able to approve such application by the Registrar, and
- 6.2. which firearms or parts qualify as being illegally in possession of such an applicant, that can be handed over to the police by the applicants, such as:
- 6.2.1 that it should most definitely include firearms handed to the applicants and recorded in their safekeeping register of which the owners / executors cannot be traced anymore and also firearms handed into the same register of which the licenses have expired;
- 6.2.2 or, will it also include for instance where current expired white licence firearm holders hand these firearms to the applicant, where the applicant can then surrender same to the police and apply to licence- same / to be taken on stock. This qualification can be a huge benefit for the police as more firearm owners will surrender such firearms as the amnesty licencing process by individuals are rather tiresome and expensive.
- Having said that, the above is but just one more reason why we support Mr Hood’s opinion and notion that there are prevailing circumstances in South Africa making the extension of the existing amnesty or a declaration of a third amnesty a priority.
- More important is that we humbly plea that, if the extension- or new declaration of amnesty will not be entertained, that you please assist the dealers and gunsmiths urgently with clear policy guidelines on the processes and standard operating procedures to be distributed to ground level, so that the dealers and gunsmiths can freely participate in the current amnesty period, which will come to an end on 31 January 2021.
Failing to do so will surely adversely affect the rights of the dealers and gunsmiths for not being able to participate in the current amnesty period, or what is left of it.
- We would appreciate your urgent intervention, assistance and feedback to us as soon as you can.
Martin & de Beer Inc.
Per: Johan Martin
Bernu van den Heever
Legally Armed Head Office
Do you wish to publish your related article about our industry? Please Contact us today.
Legally Armed Head Office
Firearm motivations, renewals and applications
Are you a sport shooter, hunter, game farm owner, professional hunter, owner of a security company, private firearm owner or an attorney? Save this number as you will require our services in the near future.