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SAGA Release 14 November 2018
SAGA Release 14 November 2018
SAGA Release 14 November 2018.pdf (6.55KB)
SAGA Release 14 November 2018
SAGA Release 14 November 2018
SAGA Release 14 November 2018.pdf (6.55KB)


SAGA Release 14 November 2018
Subject: Parliamentary Question about FCA amendment

Dear Member,
On 12 November 2018, The Mercury and Pretoria News newspapers carried an article in which it alluded to Police Minister Bheki Cele's response to a parliamentary question about the recently leaked draft amendment bill to the Firearms Control Act. In this regard IT WAS REPORTED that the minister confirmed in a written response that the process to amend the Act was 'at an advanced stage.'

The Freedom Front Plus's Pieter Groenewald further asked whether Cele intended to amend the Firearms Control Act to provide for the category to possess a firearm for self-defence to be deleted. He also wanted to know the reasons for the amendment and asked to be furnished with details of the proposed amendment.

The proposed amendments, which have been roundly and vociferously debated in social media are of significant concern to all those who would choose to exercise their right to possess a firearm for hunting, sporting or self-defence reasons. Notwithstanding the fact that these proposals may indicate the thinking and end-goals of certain elements of the police and government, they do on the face of it directly impinge on specific guarantees in our Bill of Rights.

Stripping citizens in one of the most violent countries in the world of their means of self-defence (security from violence - both public and private) will most certainly not be an easy undertaking for those who seek to bring this legislation into reality. At this time, there is a groundswell of cooperation amongst the predominant firearms associations in South Africa. There will inevitably be some different approaches to opposing this nonsensical draft, but in the end we are all moving in the same direction.

While we await the publishing of the amendments we wish to assure members that all lawful measures will be employed to oppose any unreasonable legislation.

SAGA Update on Expired Licences
SAGA Update on Expired Licences
SAGA Release 12 November2018.pdf (394.06KB)
SAGA Update on Expired Licences
SAGA Update on Expired Licences
SAGA Release 12 November2018.pdf (394.06KB)


Subject: SAGA Update on Expired Licences
12 November 2018
Dear Member,
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.

CHANGES TO FIREARM LAW SAGA RELEASE 17 OCTOBER 2018
SAGA RELEASE 17 OCTOBER 2018
SAGA Amendment Bill Release 17Oct2018.pdf (400.32KB)
CHANGES TO FIREARM LAW SAGA RELEASE 17 OCTOBER 2018
SAGA RELEASE 17 OCTOBER 2018
SAGA Amendment Bill Release 17Oct2018.pdf (400.32KB)
Annexure A. Firearm Control Amendment Bill
Annexure A. Firearm Control Amendment Bill
Annexure A. Firearm Control Amendment Bill.pdf (4.22MB)
Annexure A. Firearm Control Amendment Bill
Annexure A. Firearm Control Amendment Bill
Annexure A. Firearm Control Amendment Bill.pdf (4.22MB)

SAGA RELEASE 17 OCTOBER 2018

GOVERNMENT WANTS TO FORCE SOUTH AFRICANS TO FACE EVIL WITH EMPTY HANDS

Early yesterday a so-called draft Firearms Control Amendment Bill of 2017 (clearly endorsed “draft do not copy” on every one of its 148 pages), was circulated on social media. It appears that this document has not been officially distributed by government: firstly, it ought to have been approved by cabinet (which did not happen); and secondly, it should have been published in the Government Gazette by the Minister of Police.

SAGA does not know what the origin of this so-called draft bill is, or who distributed it. Accordingly, SAGA will not react to it. We are aware that the parliamentary programme for 2018 is almost finalised and we doubt whether the Portfolio Committee on Police will deal with any legislation at this late stage. We also expect that all political parties will from now on be fully absorbed by their respective election campaigns and we further doubt whether any attention will be given to fresh legislation until after the elections, the re-establishment of parliamentary committees and re-appointment of members.

The draft document seeks to introduce draconian provisions to the Firearms Control Act, such as scrapping provisions allowing for the possession of self-defence firearms; drastically reducing the number of firearms that dedicated sport shooters and dedicated hunters may possess; drastically amending provisions pertaining to private firearm collectors; reducing the period of validity of competency certificates; introducing stricter requirements for competency; introducing the provision of so-called “valid reasons” for wanting to own firearms; the establishment of a consultative forum, however, without any representative of the firearms community serving on it; and (again) introducing ballistic sampling as a requirement for possession of firearms. These are a few of the proposed amendments contained therein. The PDF document is available on our website.

If this document reflects government’s views towards private firearm ownership, and if this is what government intends introducing as law, then SAGA and the whole firearms community must prepare for “battle”. That said, in a media statement just released, the chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Police has denied knowledge of the draft bill. For the moment we can only advise SAGA members and law-abiding firearm owners of the so-called draft bill and confirm we are following up on this document and will keep you informed of developments.

In the meantime, stay safe and use your firearms safely and responsibly.



Government Gazette, Notice 531 of 2018 - Notice of Intent to Introduce a Private Member's Bill and Invitation for Comment on the Proposed Firearms Control Bill, 2018

Government GazNotice of Intent to Introduce a Private Member's Bill and Invitation for Comment on the Proposed Firearms Control Bill 2018
Government GazNotice of Intent to Introduce a Private Member's Bill and Invitation for Comment on the Proposed Firearms Control Bill 2018
Gazette 41881.pdf (181.5KB)
Government GazNotice of Intent to Introduce a Private Member's Bill and Invitation for Comment on the Proposed Firearms Control Bill 2018
Government GazNotice of Intent to Introduce a Private Member's Bill and Invitation for Comment on the Proposed Firearms Control Bill 2018
Gazette 41881.pdf (181.5KB)



Expired Licence Documentation of Interest:

1. Court Order 27 July 2018

2. Police Directive pursuant to GOSA interim order

3. GOSA v Min of Police Leave to Appeal

Court Order 27 July 2018
Court Order 27 July 2018
Court Order 27 July 2018.pdf (172.33KB)
Court Order 27 July 2018
Court Order 27 July 2018
Court Order 27 July 2018.pdf (172.33KB)
Police Directive pursuant to GOSA interim order
Police Directive pursuant to GOSA interim order
Police Directive pursuant to GOSA interim order.pdf (453.78KB)
Police Directive pursuant to GOSA interim order
Police Directive pursuant to GOSA interim order
Police Directive pursuant to GOSA interim order.pdf (453.78KB)
GOSA v Min of Police Leave to Appeal
GOSA v Min of Police Leave to Appeal
GOSA v Min of Police Leave to Appeal (LM)20180808.pdf (229.2KB)
GOSA v Min of Police Leave to Appeal
GOSA v Min of Police Leave to Appeal
GOSA v Min of Police Leave to Appeal (LM)20180808.pdf (229.2KB)



UPDATE ON EXPIRED FIREARM LICENCES 3 AUGUST 2018

Dear SAGA Members,

In the July SAGA Snippets, we reported on GOSA's success in obtaining interim relief against the Minister of Police and the National Commissioner on Friday the 27th July 2018.

SAGA is still waiting on the written Order of Court to be able to advise our members in full, but in the interim, the National Commissioner, General Sitole, issued a Directive on the 30th July 2018, a copy of which is attached (SAPS 30July2018).  

The main points from the Directive are as follows:

1. It confirms that pending the main application, SAPS have been interdicted from demanding that persons with firearms with expired licences,  surrender such firearms.

2. That the period for renewal will be extended on “good cause shown”.

3. That any person that had lodged an application for renewal, and If such person was able to show “good cause”, that while such application is being dealt with, that the applicant would be deemed to be in lawful possession until the application is decided upon.

4. Those persons who have already surrendered their firearm/s as a result of the Constitutional Court decision, may approach their local DFO and request that the firearm be returned to them.

5. Point 1.4 in the Directive appears to be a typographical error.

As soon as we have more information we will advise our members.


UPDATE ON EXPIRED FIREARM LICENCES 3 AUGUST 2018
UPDATE ON EXPIRED FIREARM LICENCES 3 AUGUST 2018
SAPS 30July2018.pdf (453.78KB)
UPDATE ON EXPIRED FIREARM LICENCES 3 AUGUST 2018
UPDATE ON EXPIRED FIREARM LICENCES 3 AUGUST 2018
SAPS 30July2018.pdf (453.78KB)


SAGA Update on Firearms Amnesty
 
27 July 2018

On the 9th July 2018, the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, said in a radio interview that he intended proclaiming an amnesty to allow those in possession of firearms with expired licences to surrender them to the police. At the same time he also said that the police will not be on a witch-hunt searching for people and firearms, the licences of which had expired. He commented that as a result of the Constitutional Court judgement, many people are currently in possession of firearms with expired licences.
 
Despite the National Commissioner’s undertaking to provide guidelines for the surrender of these firearms with expired licences, this has not yet happened. It is important to note though, that Gen Sitole did say that since the amnesty falls within the Minister’s discretion and mandate, and he was unable to express an opinion about it.

Earlier this week SAGA Trustee John Welch was interviewed by the media on SAGA’s views about the proposed amnesty. He stated that under normal circumstances SAGA does not favour amnesties since very few, if any, firearms were surrendered by “real” criminals – those who murder, steal and rape. Also, during the two previous amnesties not a single surrendered firearm could be linked to any crime.
 
However, in light of the recent Constitutional Court’s ruling that should a licence holder have failed to timeously apply for the renewal of her/his licence, after the expiry of that licence, she/he will have in their possession an unlicenced firearm and could thus be criminalised.
Because of this intolerable state of affairs SAGA, and other members of the firearms community, have tried to engage the police with proposals to alleviate the plight of those affected persons. In the meantime, at least two organisations have brought court applications to obtain relief for people with firearms with expired licences. We will keep our members informed of the outcomes of these court cases.
 
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Police (PPCoP) has been informed that they will be requested to debate and consider the amnesty request. This debate may happen on 16 August 2018. SAGA has already communicated with some of the Portfolio Committee members with a view to influencing the deliberations.
 
SAGA believes that the amnesty must provide not only for the persons with expired firearms licences, but also for such interested persons to apply for licences for their affected firearms. And further, that the duration of the amnesty should be at least six months to enable such persons to carefully consider what they wish to do.
 
We also believe the Minister should be permitted to extend the period of the amnesty should it be deemed necessary. SAGA will ensure that it has representation in the Parliamentary Committee to guide, if necessary or required, those committee members who care to ask advice.
 
SAGA would also like the Portfolio Committee and the Minister of Police to consider our proposal to reduce the logistics of the amnesty by permitting such persons to retain possession of their affected firearms (by keeping them in their safes), and then to apply for a new licence. This will prevent firearms from being stolen or going missing from SAPS 13 stores.
 
SAGA members are reminded that every free and law-abiding person has the right to make choices – no person should be forced into decisions, and government should not make choices on behalf of the people.
 
Citizens who believe that the burden of owning a firearm is just too much should consider surrendering their firearms. However, those who believe that a firearm may make the difference in protecting lives, or wish to continue sport shooting and/or hunting and remain responsible for keeping their firearms safe, and comply with the law by applying for relicencing for as long as it is required, must be allowed to obtain new licences and keep their firearms.
         


SAGA IS NOW ON FACEBOOK

WHAT IS SAGA ABOUT

The South African Gunowners' Association (SAGA) is a non-profit, non-discriminatory organization, whose sole purpose is to represent the interests of all people who embrace the principles of safe and responsible ownership and usage of firearms for sport, recreation, hunting and self-defence.
        
SAGA is the watchdog that endeavours to safeguard the rights of the South African public by engaging government in discussion regarding firearm related issues and to provide technical assistance and expertise where needed. This is achieved by collecting and disseminating information regarding all aspects of the legitimate use of firearms. This is to enable responsible, non-discriminatory and enforceable legislation that would benefit all South Africans, irrespective of race, colour or creed.

World Forum on Shooting Activities  (WFSA)

The World Forum on Sport Shooting Activities (WFSA) is an ECOSOC NGO at United Nations representing over 100 million hunters and sport shooters.  We also represent most of the major civilian firearms and ammunition manufacturers. SAGA is a paid up voting member and is represented on the EXCO.

 If you want to get in touch with SAGA, just click on Contact.  

 Enjoy your visit!