Parts of Firearms Control Act declared unconstitutional

The South African Police Service says they have taken note of a ruling by the Gauteng North High Court in Pretoria, which has declared two sections of the Firearms Control Act dealing with expired firearm licenses, unconstitutional.

In the ruling‚ Judge Ronel Tolmay upheld the purpose of the Firearms Control Act (2000)‚ describing guns as “hazardous objects” that need to be “strictly controlled”‚ and affirming the importance of gun licences having a “limited lifespan”.

The High Court in Pretoria ruled in favour of the Hunters and Game Conservation Association.

She ordered that all firearms issued in terms of the Act and are due to be renewed, will be deemed to be valid, until the Constitutional Court has made an official decision on the matter.

Brigadier Vish Naidoo says firearms that have been handed in will not be returned.

In the meantime Saps is studying the judgment because we have 15 days to do so, to decide on a way forward. We want to emphasise that those firearms that have been handed in by owners that have not renewed their licenses when they were supposed to do so according to Section 24 of the Firearms Control Act, we are going to retain those firearms.

Vish Naidoo, SAPS spokesperson

The judge ruled that Section 24 is unconstitutional, that still has to be confirmed by the Constitutional Court and we still have the option of whether we want to appeal that judgment. So as it stands now it is is just an interim order, it is not a confirmed order so those people who have their firearms and have not renewed their licenses when they were supposed to do so , we still encourage them to.

Vish Naidoo, SAPS spokesperson

In the meantime there will be no prosecutions, no effort to prosecute until this entire process is completely finalised.

Vish Naidoo, SAPS spokesperson

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