18 July 2018

CHASA Advice – Holders of firearms with expired licences

Following our notice dated 4 July 2018 wherein we expressed our view that the only an AMNESTY, Declared by The Minister, can solve the current crisis facing firearm owners who failed to renew their licences in terms of Sec 24 of the FCA, we are extremely pleased to share the information that this now appears to be the likely outcome.
Below is a transcript of an interview with Police Minister, Bheki Cele, on Jacaranda FM’s Martin Bester Show which took place on 9 July. The Minister makes it absolutely clear that:

• An Amnesty IS on the cards in the near future with a view to resolving this issue.
• That those in possession of firearms for which their licence has expired should
KEEP their firearm for the time being.
• That such people DO NOT face the prospect of arrest

Until now NO National Directive, issued by the Commissioner/Registrar of Firearms has been issued regarding the handling of expired licences. There have been many reports of local SAPS activities around so called “gun grabs” and threats to individuals with expired licences, but to our knowledge no actual confiscations or charges have occurred. We urge anyone with information of such events to disclose this to us, but please ensure it is genuine, first hand facts and not just fake news or scaremongering.
Our advice thus remains; keep any firearm with an expired licence in your prescribed safe until further OFFICIAL instructions.
CHASA shall monitor the amnesty process, which in any case cannot occur before Parliament reconvenes in mid-August at the soonest. We shall try to influence a logical amnesty, which does NOT prescribe mass ballistic testing of all firearms as this is not prescribed in the act. The act DOES prescribe that those handing in firearms during an amnesty be afforded an opportunity to apply for a licence for such firearm.

Stephen Palos

Transcript – Jacaranda FM (Martin Bester Show) caller to Minister Bheki Cele 9 July 2018
Caller identifies himself as Johan (In Lynwood), says he has a licence he could not renew as SAPS Garstfontein refused to accept his late application. SAPS informed him to keep it pending the court case decision. Now that the Constitutional Court ruled for SAPS, he wants to hand it in but is afraid of possible arrest when he does so.
Minister Cele opens with a joke that he should not be afraid of arrest as he gets free meals, but reverts to serious answer as follows:
“We are working again on the amnesty. Its going to be coming up very soon from Parliament, for those people who want to return their firearms. The ones that are un-licenced under there are almost 430 000! that are supposed to be brought back. Police are working the logistics. There are too many logistics of receiving them as they come back, but the question of the amnesty is going to be out soon where you can return your gun, even if its licenced if you don’t want it… (interruption by radio presenter; “What must Johan do?”)
Minister Cele continues “Johan, at the present moment can keep it. Wait…and because as I’m saying police themselves…” (interruption by radio presenter; “Amnesty is coming?”)
Minister; “Yes its coming”
Presenter; “so if he takes it back now there’s a chance of him being arrested?”
Minister; “No, there won’t, because that one comes from the court. Court decision. Remember there was a court the organisation was still arguing. They have lost, lost the thing, so he can bring it without getting arrested …”
Thereafter the Minister makes some comments regarding concerns of firearms in SAPS storage and mentions that most of the “430 of them” are in responsible hands. Although noteworthy, this is not relevant for the suggested actions of those with expired licences. The full discussion can be heard here:


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