'SAPS gun permit system turned off due to non-payment of service provider'
Gun Ownership platform Paratus reports that the South African Police Services (SAPS) gun ownership permit system has been switched off.
The Firearm Permit System (FPS), reports Pararus, has been turned off because SAPS has stopped paying its service provider.
Lester Kiewit talks to the legal representative of the South African Arms and Ammunition Dealers Association's Martin Hood about this move.
Hood says the information that the FPS has been turned off is correct.
But there is much more information to the story. It is multifaceted.Martin Hood, Spokesperson - SA Arms and Ammunition Dealers Association
He explains that there is a system used internally by SAPS to manage its several hundred thousand firearms by a company called Forensic Data Services.
But, says Hood, Forensic Data Services have been involved in an ongoing legal dispute with SAPS for a number of years.
The legal dispute is over the use of its copyrighted software and non-payment for it. The matter wound its way up into the Supreme Court of Appeal, and the SCA has been incredibly critical of the manner in which the [police] minister and SAPS have conducted themselves by using a programme knowing that they had not paid for.Martin Hood, Spokesperson - SA Arms and Ammunition Dealers Association
In addition, there is another parallel process causing problems called the Waymark tender, says Hood.
The police have been tendering for electronic supervision of all firearms with information in a database - police as well as civilian firearms - and they have not got that system yet.Martin Hood, Spokesperson - SA Arms and Ammunition Dealers Association
The South African Arms and Ammunition Dealers Association has, in fact, a court order in place that mandates the implementation of this electronic system. To date, the South African Police Services (SAPS) have not abided by this court order either, he notes.
To put it simply, we have a very large crisis in the management of firearms in South Africa.Martin Hood, Spokesperson - SA Arms and Ammunition Dealers Association
With the current system offline there are serious implications for tracking stolen police weapons.
The default is that it becomes a manual system, and that's easy to abuse and it is also fallible because it involves human beings.Martin Hood, Spokesperson - SA Arms and Ammunition Dealers Association
The tracking and control of firearms will be diminished, he says, and weapons may increasingly fall into the wrong hands.
Listen to the interview with Martin Hood in the audio below:
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