Late Renewal Update – By Damian Enslin
On Thursday 24 November 2016, an application brought by the South African Arms and Ammunitions Dealers (SAAADA) against the South African Police Service (SAPS) was heard in the North Gauteng High Court before Judge Raulinga. However, Judge Raulinga declined to grant any relief, and directed further that the matter be postponed to around 20 April 2017, with the final date still to be determined.
Judge Raulinga was well informed on the matter, also being aware of the SA Hunters’ application (see Gun Africa Edition 26). He directed that all related matters concerning the late renewal of firearm licences should be heard together, but not conjoined.
THE ISSUE OF THE LATE RENEWAL OF FIREARMS LICENCES WILL REMAIN IN LIMBO UNTIL THE COURT CASES HAVE BEEN HEARD IN APRIL 2017.
As the three court applications to date dealt with various issues regarding Section 24 and Section 28 of the Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000 (FCA), and in terms of the issue of late registration as a totality encompassing both the FCA and SAPS, Judge Raulinga therefore opted for a holistic approach.
What will happen now is that all three applications brought by the various parties against the Minister of Police and others will be heard during late April 2017, and more likely be brought before the same two judges. This will give the judges a good overview, hopefully resulting in a fair and balanced decision, rather than the various matters being heard piecemeal before different judges, and at different times. Meanwhile, the SA Hunters’ case, in which SAGA is committed as Amicus Curiae (Friend of the Court), has been set down to be heard on 25 and 26 April 2017 respectively. The SA Hunters’ and all interested parties have essentially filed all their main documents for the hearing, with the late addition of Gun Free South Africa (GFSA) joining also as an Amicus Curiae at the end of September 2016.
Remain in limbo
Thus the issue of the late renewal of firearms licences will remain in limbo until the court cases have been heard in April 2017. More than likely, judgement will only be handed down a couple of months later. In the interim, I advise all firearm holders with licences not renewed in time to keep such firearms in their safes until the abovementioned court cases have been resolved. Furthermore, as advised previously, licences in terms of the old green ID book (Arms and Ammunition Act 75 of 1969) remain valid as per the judgment from 26 June 2009. Alternatively, persons with expired licences should seek appropriate legal advice. We will keep you updated as this matter develops.
Legal disclaimer The views and opinions are of the author’s alone and are not those of Gun Africa, its editorial or its clients, customers or suppliers. Any legal opinion or advice given herein are the author’s alone and are as a result of his personal experience and are not to be considered proper legal advice as each particular person’s situation must be taken on its own merits. This article is a guide only, and no reliance should therefore be placed upon this article without seeking proper legal advice.