What the High Court Firearms Act ruling means for gun owners

This week the High Court in Pretoria found the sections of the Firearms Act related to firearm license renewal unconstitutional; if a person failed to reapply more than 90 days from the date of expiry, they would be deemed to be in unlawful possession of a firearm.

Parliament has been given 18 months to amend the legislation to ensure constitutional compliance.

The CEO of the Hunters and Game Conservation Association, Fred Camphor explains how the section in question offered no remedy to the late application.

In essence, the act does not allow you to become the legal owner of a firearm again. The moment that license has lapsed and you have not applied in time for the renewal of a license.

Fred Camphor, CEO of the Hunters and Game Conservation Association

If you go beyond the 90 days you are too late and if it lapses you are in illegal possession of a firearm.

Fred Camphor, CEO of the Hunters and Game Conservation Association

We have examples of people that have applied as long as five years after the license has lapsed, those were taken by police and the licenses were issued.

Fred Camphor, CEO of the Hunters and Game Conservation Association

He further explains why a decision by former acting police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane in February last year was irrational.

Phahlane issued a directive that firearm owners who applied for renewals after expiry of their licences were in illegal possession and had to surrender their firearms to the police for destruction.

The police unilaterally made decisions on the implementation of the act which the act does not allow them to do.

Fred Camphor, CEO of the Hunters and Game Conservation Association

This court judgment has done two things, it has declared section 24 and 28 of the act that rules the renewal process and the cancellation of firearms licenses unconstitutional and has given parliament 18 months to amend the act to meet the requirements of constitutionality.

Fred Camphor, CEO of the Hunters and Game Conservation Association

It has declared all licenses that have already lapsed as deemed to be valid until at least the date when the Constitutional Court reviews the decision of the High Court.

Fred Camphor, CEO of the Hunters and Game Conservation Association

The South African Police Service says however, it will keep all the firearms surrendered by people who failed to renew their licenses until the matter is concluded.

READ: Parts of Firearms Control Act declared unconstitutional

Click on the link below to listen to the full audio...

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
Parts of Firearms Control Act declared unconstitutional

Parts of Firearms Control Act declared unconstitutional

Despite the High Court ruling, Saps is not returning firearms surrounded by people who failed to renew licences on time.

Rusty weapons cache in Randburg sent for ballistics testing

Rusty weapons cache in Randburg sent for ballistics testing

Police have launched an investigation after a suicide vest, a number of firearms and explosives discovered in a Randburg building.

Opinion: Police credibility needs to be restored

Opinion: Police credibility needs to be restored

It has been reported that at least 30 firearms were stolen at a police station near Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape.

Shotspotter tech curbing Cape Flats gun violence

Shotspotter tech curbing Cape Flats gun violence

Since Metro police piloted the gunshot detection technology, shooting incidents have dropped considerably.

Investing in antique (or otherwise collectable) firearms

Investing in antique (or otherwise collectable) firearms

A quality firearm's value can rise by up to 12% per year, claims Carvel Webb of the SA Arms and Ammunition Collectors Association.

Popular articles
Best bank ad ever? Andy Rice reviews Investec’s “you’re more than data”

Best bank ad ever? Andy Rice reviews Investec’s “you’re more than data”

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews the advertising expert about the best and worst new advertisements.

Police apparently mulling over warrant of arrest after Grace Mugabe a no-show

Police apparently mulling over warrant of arrest after Grace Mugabe a no-show

EWN understands that lawyers representing the Zimbabwean first lady are negotiating with officers at the Sandton police station.

[LISTEN] 20-year-old SA woman traumatised by Grace Mugabe's assault

[LISTEN] 20-year-old SA woman traumatised by Grace Mugabe's assault

Gabriella Engels says she is saddened by people who are calling her names on Twitter before they understand the full story.

Traffic gridlocked as Imizamo yethu residents make their way to Cape Town

Traffic gridlocked as Imizamo yethu residents make their way to Cape Town

About 40 minibus taxis, in a convoy at a very low speed, are transporting Imizamo Yethu residents into CT for a planned protest.

Words you’ll hear: Grace Mugabe's latest nickname

Words you’ll hear: Grace Mugabe's latest nickname

Find out why Zimbabwe's First Lady should be dubbed with the moniker 'extension cord'.

Discovery CEO (and founder) Adrian Gore bares his soul about money

Discovery CEO (and founder) Adrian Gore bares his soul about money

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Gore about his attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.).

Ocean Basket gives franchise owner the chop after assault video

Ocean Basket gives franchise owner the chop after assault video

The man was immediately divested of his shares and is no longer part of the group, explains Ocean Basket CEO Grace Harding.

WATCH: Cape schoolkids 'starstruck' after Trevor Noah,  Charlize Theron drop by

WATCH: Cape schoolkids 'starstruck' after Trevor Noah, Charlize Theron drop by

Oaklands High principal Reza Patel says it was an extremely exciting experience for both the learners and staff. We can imagine!

CoCT explains new electricity tariffs

CoCT explains new electricity tariffs

Following residents concerns over new electricity tariffs and properties being re-evaluated, Johan van der Merwe provides clarity.