Draft Firearm Control Amendment Bill
CSOP Acknowledges SAGA Submission – 11 August 2021
Dear SAGA Member
CIVILLIAN SECRETARIAT FOR POLICE ACKNOWLEDGES RECIEPT OF SAGA SUBMISSION
11 AUGUST 2021
The Civilian Secretariat for Police Service has acknowledged receipt of our SAGA submission against the FCA Amendment Bill. We trust that our submission will be taken seriously as a major stakeholder in the firearms landscape in South Africa. In our letter to the CSOP Secretary’s office on 1 August 2021, SAGA Chairperson Damian Enslin said the following:
“We place on record that an inadequate amount of time has been given to sufficiently and properly comment on the Bill and thus SAGA objects to the Bill in its entirety. None-the-less in the inadequate time allocated to make submissions on the Bill, please find below our main submissions as well as a Schedule of Submissions which must be read in conjunction with this document.”
Our Full submission can be found on the following Links:
Or on our website www.saga.org.za
Issued by THE SAGA TRUST
Court Order : Extension of Date For Submissions IRO Proposed Amendments to the Firearm Control ActRead More
SAGA Snippets May 2021
As you already know, the Draft Firearms Control Amendment Bill has now been published and public comments can be submitted. SAGA representatives are busy analysing the Draft Bill and working on our submission. We will also be providing members with some guidelines for making their own personal submissions.
SAGA Release – CFR Visit 17 May 2021
Dear SAGA Member
SAGA Release: Chaos and Disorder at the Central Firearms Registry
17 May 2021
Some members of the Portfolio Committee on Police (PCoP) from Parliament recently did an inspection at the Central Firearms Registry (CFR).
The inspection brought to light once more, the chaos and disorder to be found at CFR with many hundreds, if not thousands, of files being packed metres high along most of the corridors and work spaces It’s no wonder that files often go missing, or documents are mislaid, and that applications are not being processed within a reasonable time frame.
SAGA members have been struggling for many months to obtain feedback on the progress – or lack of progress – with competency and licence applications, and SAGA’s offices have been receiving complaints from members about SAPS poor service delivery on a daily basis.
SAGA’s offices have regularly had to address CFR and the commanding officer of CFR, Brigadier Mabule, on the failure on the part of CFR to process members’ applications within a reasonable time frame. This is the worst service levels that our members have seen for many years and the vast majority of complaints are not being responded to.
There appears to be a complete lack of commitment on the behalf of SAPS and CFR to deliver a satisfactory service to the general public and SAGA is contemplating a class action in the High Court against CFR and SAPS to force them to process applications within a reasonable time period, which applications should be processed within 90 days (three months), as prescribed by the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000 (PAJA).
In SAGA’s view, SAPS are currently unable to deal with the administration of competency and firearm licence applications in an effective manner, and SAPS have also failed to ensure that there are adequate personnel and resources to deal with such applications on a timeous basis.
Should any SAGA member experience poor service delivery with respect to their competency and/or licence application, which delays are unreasonable, or any other related issue, please email the SAGA head office on firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAGA believes in the right of law-abiding and responsible citizens to choose to own and use firearms for sport, self-defence, recreation and other legitimate purposes.
Green Licence Issue – 19th April 2021
In previous newsletters, we indicated that SA Hunters were in talks with the State Attorney concerning the “Green Licence” issue, and the original June 2009 Interim Interdict of Judge Prinsloo.
When we refer to the “Green Licence” issue, this is with respect to those persons who only possess the “Green” or old licences in terms of the Arms and Ammunition Act, No. 75 f 1969, and not those persons who transitioned to the current Firearms Control Act (FCA), No 60 of 2000, and whose white licences may have expired, and who may still be in physical possession of their old green licences as well.
Those persons who transitioned from “green” to white cards, only fall within the new FCA and for those who may be in possession of an expired licence are possibly in illegal possession, and their previous old ”green” licences would not come to their rescue.
The talks between SA Hunters and the State Attorney have stalled to a certain extent, in that the proposals from the State Attorney vis-a-vis, granting persons a period of six months within which to transition or convert. In SAGA’s opinion this period is unreasonable, having regard to the break down in administration by SAPS and, in SAGA’s view, the lack of capacity on the part of SAPS to process anywhere from 400 000 upwards of applications for those who will need to transition.
SAGA is therefore contemplating joining the case either as a co-applicant or amicus curiae, and in this regard SAGA calls on all its members who are only in possession of green licences, to email the SAGA office on email@example.com as we may need corroborating affidavits / supporting evidence from members who hold green licence cards. Please supply the office with your name and contact cellphone number.
We look forward to hearing from those members who are only in possession of the green licence cards at their earliest convenience.
SAGA Snippets November 2020
In June 2009 the SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association (SAH) was granted a temporary interdict in terms of which all licenses issued under the former Arms and Ammunition Act (the so- called green licenses), remained valid until the main application was adjudicated.
SAPS Notice – Firearm Amnesty
The Minister of Police has declared a firearm amnesty period of six (6) months commencing on 01 August 2020 to 31 January 2021, through the publication of a notice in the Government Gazette. The amnesty period creates an opportunity for members of the public to surrender unwanted firearms or firearms they possess illegally, as well as ammunition and/or firearm parts to the South African Police Service without fear of being prosecuted for the unlawful possession of this equipment.
SAGA Snippets – October 2020
If you say “personal defense” to most people, I expect they would immediately start thinking about guns. I like guns and have made my living for my entire adult life with guns, one way or another. But let me suggest a few things, in no particular order, that might be just as important as guns for personal defense.
SAGA Release – SafeCitizen Campaign
South Africans share a common concern around community safety, and we all feel threatened by increasing violent crime in which we and our loved-ones, neighbours and community are the targeted victims.
Saga Trust Release – Protest Action
The events, last week, in the Free State town of Senekal, has, once again, drawn our attention to the importance of our constitutional rights and to do what is right within our constitutional dispensation. SAGA unequivocally advocates the right of free, responsible and law-abiding citizens to keep, bear and lawfully use firearms. Law-abiding citizens do what is right in accordance with the Constitution and the law. Despite having previously alluded to various constitutional rights and freedoms, let me remind members of those relevant to public protests. Our Constitution provides that:
Draft Firearm Report
Most of us are aware that the GOSA interim interdict was dismissed for reasons that are not relevant to this report.
SAGA Snippets August 2020 – Amnesty Guidelines
COMPETENCY RENEWALS AND NEW FIREARM LICENCE APPLICATIONS IN TERMS OF THE FIREARM AMNESTY 2020 – 1st August 2020 to 31st January 2021: A GUIDELINE The following information serves as a guideline of what you ought to take with you and what you should expect when attending at your relevant SAPS station.
SAGA’s evaluation of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judgment of the 23rd July 2020 By Advocate John Welch
SAGA members are now aware that the appeal by the National Commissioner and the Minister of Police against the interim interdict granted to Gun Owners of South Africa (GOSA) by judge Prinsloo in the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) on 27 July 2018, was upheld by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on 23 July 2020, and the interdict was accordingly set aside.
SAGA Snippets May 2020
SAGA has communicated a number of times with the Minister of Police about a possible extension to the firearm amnesty which is due to end on 31 May. The Corona virus lockdown has affected those wishing to take part in the amnesty.
SAPS Directive 07 May 2020
SAGA Snippets April 2020
Talk to us about firearms, the effective use thereof for lawful purposes and firearm rights, and we are in our element. However, all of a sudden SAGA finds itself treading foreign territory, one where an invisible enemy causes consternation and havoc. At midnight on the 26th of March 2020 all citizens were suddenly under house arrest, not because of their mischief, but because a virus that came from abroad decided to make life miserable for us all.
Chasa Member Advice For Renewal Of Firearm Licences During Lockdown
Dear CHASA Members
Two days prior to the commencement of the national Covid19 lockdown the CHASA CEO addressed a letter to the head of the Central Firearm Registry, Brig Mabule, requesting guidance for our members relating specifically to renewing of lapsing firearm licences during the lockdown period.
SAGA TRUST RELEASE – Portfolio Committee Meeting
SAGA RELEASE – Portfolio Committee Meeting
Issued: 13 SEPTEMBER 2019
On Wednesday, 11th September 2019, SAGA Trustee Damian Enslin, and GOSA representatives, Paul Oxley, Tim Flack, Themba Kubheka and Maryna Micklem, and firearm activist Ludwig Churr, attended on the Portfolio Committee on Police (PCoP) meeting at Parliament, as a number of firearm related issues were being dealt with by the recently formed committee.
The main issues on the agenda at the PCoP were:
1.Auditor General’s report concerning SAPS financial issues.
2.The Civilian Secretariat’s presentation on upcoming legislation.
3.The SAPS presentation on the Firearms Amnesty 2019.
4.PSIRA presentation on the proposed PSIRA regulations.
With regards to the Auditor General’s financial report there is no need to report on this, as the presentation was not relevant to firearm issues.
The Civilian Secretariat’s presentation dealt with a number of forthcoming bills including the Firearms Control Amendment Bill. The presenter indicated that this bill would more than likely be publicised in the fourth quarter, which will be during January, February or March 2020.
Proposed Firearm Amnesty 2019
The Minister of Police signed a notice on the 15th August 2019 declaring an amnesty in terms of Section 139 of the Firearms Control Act wherein he had indicated that there would be a firearm amnesty from 1st October 2019 to 31st March 2020.
After SAPS presented the proposed Amnesty for 2019 to the PCoP, Dr Pieter Groenewald of the FF Plus pointed out to SAPS that the presentation was defective in a number of respects. The presentation referred to addressing the Committee on Security and Justice, whereas it should have referred to the PCoP; that it referred to a 2018 amnesty, and more critically, that the draft Notice for the proposed amnesty was not before the PCoP.
The committee members took a vote and they voted unanimously not to deal with the firearm amnesty.
After a very detailed PSIRA presentation, Mr A Whitfield and Mr O Terblanche of the DA, raised concerns about the duplication of the proposed new regulations with respect to the use of firearms by security officers. There was also concern about the definition of “semi-automatic” and although a PSIRA representative indicated that this would be amended to reflect semi-automatic rifles, again Mr Whitfield indicated that this did not make sense to him as criminals would be armed with fully automatic weapons, and taking away semi-automatic rifles would leave security companies with only semi-automatic pistols and revolvers.
The PSIRA representatives then indicated that this was just a proposed draft bill, that there would be further amendments to the bill and that the bill had not yet been publicised. Only when the bill is publicised would the actual final draft bill be presented to the PCoP.
To summarise the main issues from the meeting:
1.Although the amnesty has been delayed due to issues with the presentation as well as the draft notice not being presented to Parliament, there is the possibility of SAPS presenting the amnesty at a later date before the end of 2019.
2.A draft Firearms Control Amendment Bill could be publicised in January, February or March 2020. At that, stage there will be call for public comment.
3.The PSIRA legislation on firearms does not have a final bill and has not yet been publicised. Once it has been publicised there will be an opportunity for public input and comment and it will be brought before the PCoP.
The Committee also discussed the GOSA court case. Some committee members questioned whether there should indeed be a firearms amnesty or even a proposed Firearms Control Amendment Bill having regard to the fact that the GOSA court case had not been finalised.
A further development that arose during the meeting was an indication from the Chairperson of the PCoP, Ms Tina Joemat-Petterssen of the ANC, of the possibility of holding a firearms summit in the very near future with all stakeholders and organisations who have an interest in firearms.
With respect to expired firearm licences, we are still waiting on the GOSA court case, which together with the possible amnesty and FCA Amendment Bill publication, may have an impact on the expired firearm licence issue.
Finally, in terms of the GOSA interdict, if you are the holder of a firearm with an expired firearm licence, SAGA reiterates that there is nothing that you can or need to do, because you cannot be charged for being in possession of a firearm with an expired licence, nor can your firearm be seized.
We will keep SAGA members updated on these issues.
The SAGA Trust
P O Box 35203
SAGA MEDIA STATEMENT
Police Minister Cele’s statement on 17April at the destruction of some 30 039 seized and surrendered firearms that “It would be better if one day we don’t have private citizens having guns at all. It’s a tall order going forward but it would be better if one day, only the armed forces namely police and soldiers having [access to] guns”, was nothing new, however, it illustrates how remote he is from reality. With the violent crime rate what it is, it is irrational and unreasonable to deny good law-abiding citizens’ the means to defend themselves and others against violent home and business invasions and attacks in general. Not only is his statement irrational, it also seriously interferes with citizens’ constitutional rights to life, bodily integrity and property. To have rights but without the means to enforce such rights is useless, bearing in mind that, when a violent attack is imminent, most people do not have body guards present to protect them, neither are police officers on the scene and you do not have the luxury to apply for an interdict. Ordinary people remain the first, and often only, responders to crime. And while we have so often stated that one should avoid crime hot-spots,thereby preventing crime, it is totally unreasonable to expect citizens not to enjoy life, travel around and generally carrying on with their lives.
Hunting, sport shooting and collecting of firearms and ammunition are internationally and nationally recognised activities in which free people participate. And while the greater majority of these people neither commit nor contribute to crime, their rights should not be interfered with.
The minister continued: “It’s important to say that we are looking at the next batch [to be destructed] and we are trying to squeeze in the time for that so that we don’t keep these guns in the crime market for very long,”. SAGA fully agrees that for the police to keep these seized and surrendered firearms constitutes a serious risk since these firearms may (will?) sooner or later find their way to criminals. It must be borne in mind, though, that all confiscated firearms need to be inspected by or on behalf of the South AfricanHeritage Resources Agency to ensure that no firearms of heritage value are destroyed.
The minister must concern himself and his police officials with their primary function – crime fighting, including removing illegally possessed firearms from society. When all crime is reduced to acceptable levels, many may stop carrying firearms for self-defence (and the minister would have achieved his goal) while hunters, sportsmen and collectors can continue to participate in their lawful activities without being concerned about irresponsible political threats. This is a win-win situation, excepting for criminals.
The SAGA Trust
P O Box 35203
No. 42284 GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, 6 MARCH 2019 Government notices
NOTICE IN TERMS OF SECTION 136 (1) OF THE FIREARMS CONTROL ACT, 2000 (ACT NO. 60 OF 2000) By virtue of the powers vested in me by section 136 (1) of the Firearms Control Act, 2000 (Act No. 60 of 2000), I Khehla John Sitole, National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, in my capacity as Registrar of Firearms as contemplated in section 123 of the said Act, hereby give notice that the State intends to destroy all firearms, ammunition as well as firearms parts, listed in the website below, that were voluntarily surrendered to or forfeited to the State.
Interested parties can visit the South African Police Service website at www.saps.gov.za , for a list of firearms, ammunition of firearm parts intended to be destroyed by the State.
In terms of section 136 (2) of the Firearms Control Act, 2000 (Act No. 60 of 2000), any person who has a valid claim to such firearm(s) or ammunition or such firearm part(s) may, within 21 days after the date of publication of this notice, make representations to me as to why such firearm(s) or ammunition or such firearm part(s) should not be destroyed. The representations must contain complete information of the firearm(s), ammunition or firearm part(s) and the police station where the firearm(s) ammunition and firearm part(s) were surrendered to or forfeited to the State.
By Post: The National Commissioner (Registrar) South African Police Service Private Bag x811 PRETORIA 0001
This gazette is also available free online at www.gpwonline.co.za
4 No. 42284 GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, 6 MARCH 2019 Government notices • GoewermentskennisGewinGs Police, Department of/ Polisie, Departement van DEPARTMENT OF POLICE NO.
The SAGA Trust
P.O. Box 35203
New SAGA Facebook Page
SAGA has a new Facebook presence. Please visit us at:
You might get a Friend request as we work to get the new page up and running. If you don’t please go online to Like our page and do a Friend request. The old page will be decommissioned soon.
Thank you for your support.
SAGA Update on Expired Licences
On the 7th November 2018, GOSA released a media statement concerning their interim Order and Judgment obtained on the 27th July 2018, which Order was against the National Commissioner of Police and the Minister of Police.
SAGA had previously reported on the judgment from the 27th July 2018 in our SAGA news bulletins dated 29th July, 4th August and 10th September 2018 wherein we dealt with and reported on the written Judgment from the GOSA Court case.
It is not the intention of this release to discuss or deal with the GOSA media release from the 7th November 2018. We are aware that some parties have criticised the GOSA media release, but for the sake of clarity, and because we have received a number of queries from our members, we wish to advise as follows:
1. The Judgment obtained by GOSA on 27th July 2018 obtained interim relief against the SAPS in that SAPS were prohibited from implementing any plans of action, or from accepting any firearms for which the licence had expired at its police stations or any place, and SAPS were prohibited from demanding that such firearms be handed over to them for the sole reason that the licence of such firearm had expired.
2. The rest of the Judgment dealt with further relief that GOSA had applied for, but it was clearly indicated that the rest of the relief would be dealt with in the main application, once the main application had been set down for trial.
To be clear, we wish to advise that the Judgment from the 27th July 2018, does not allow or provide for any further relief. Thus, SAGA members or any person for that matter, who is in possession of a firearm with an expired licence, may still not renew the licence at their police station and they cannot apply for a licence for such firearm yet.
Therefore at this point, there is no possibility of SAPS accepting any applications for late renewal of a firearm licence after it has expired, nor will SAPS even process such applications.
As soon as we have been made aware of the trial date for the main application, we will advise our members.
We will also be publishing another newsletter concerning the private bill of Dr. Pieter Groenewald of the Freedom Front Plus, which Bill was discussed at Parliament on 6th November 2018. This bill seeks to amend Section 24 and Section 28 of the Firearms Control Act, and which Bill directly deals with the renewal of firearm licences, where either the application is brought late or after the licence has expired.
The SAGA Trust
P O Box 35203
Constitutional Court decision of 07 June 2018
Most of you will be aware of the Constitutional Court decision of 07 June 2018.
The Constitutional Court, in dismissing the application of SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association, upheld the constitutionality of Sections 24 and 28 of the Firearms Control Act. This means that you are compelled to relicence your firearm in terms of Section 24 and if you fail to do so, the possession of your firearm is illegal and you are criminalised.
The Judgment of the Constitutional Court is short, simple and to the point. It is also a final Judgment and any criticism of the Judgment is of no purpose or consequence.
What we need to consider now, is the consequences of the Judgment and if you have an expired licence, and what you can do.
The Constitutional Court ruled that the life of your licence is finite as determined by the Act and if you do not renew the licence, your licence terminates, the firearm becomes illegal and possession thereof is criminalised i.e. you become a criminal. The Constitutional Court pointed out, however, that if you intend to surrender the firearm to the police on an expired licence, you cannot be prosecuted, because handing in the firearm is a solution to the illegal possession. Froneman J specifically stated “I can see no legal obstacle to hand in a firearm over to the police after termination.” (of the licence)
This means that the safest most precautionary approach to take, is to surrender your firearm to the police for destruction if you have an expired licence.
The other alternative, which comes without any guarantees at this stage, is to wait for the proposed amnesty that the police are busy trying to finalise and put before Parliament and apply for a licence in terms of such amnesty. This comes, however, with some potential risks inasmuch as your possession of a firearm on an expired licence remains illegal until you have handed it in to the police and applied for an licence in terms of the amnesty.
Under no circumstances and as a result of this Judgment, should anybody with an expired licence carry and/or use their firearm until they have been granted a licence in terms of the proposed amnesty.
In summary therefore you can:
1) Immediately surrender your firearm to the police for destruction and avoid being criminalised; or
2) You can keep your firearm, not use it or carry it and wait for the proclamation of the amnesty to surrender your firearm in terms of the amnesty and to apply for a licence in terms of the amnesty.
I do not know exactly when the amnesty will be proclaimed.
The Judgment does not change the status of green or old Act licences which remain valid.
SA Hunters Official Media Release Following Concourt Ruling on Firearms Licence IssueRead More
SA Hunters vs CFR Court Ruling
CHASA – Congratulates the South African Hunters & Game Conservation Association
The Confederation of Hunters Association of SA congratulates the CEO, Executive and management of “SA Hunters” on their pivotal and decisive court triumph in their case against aspects of the Firearms Control Act (60 of 2000) as handed down in the North Gauteng High Court today.
We have had some small insight into the diligence, hard work, long hours and calculated risk which the SA Hunters team have put in and can attest to what a magnificent effort it was. It is also sad, but true that at every step of the way the State (SAPS/CFR) could, and should have engaged with SA Hunters and all firearm related stakeholders to rectify the patent problems that exist with both the legislation and the implementation thereof which would have solved the problems much sooner and without litigation being necessary.
Salient features of the judgement. Otherwise click here for the full judgement:
- declare Sec 24 & 28 of the Firearms Control Act (60 of 2000) unconstitutional.
- gives the State 18 months to rectify.
- deems all expired licenses valid pending such rectification.
- respondent (State) to pay costs.