The South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association (SA Hunters) wants to reassure firearm owners to stay calm and not be carried away by rumours of amendments to the Firearms Control Act that propose draconian restrictions to firearm ownership.
This follows the distribution of a dubious document earlier this week that resembles a “Draft Firearms Control Amendment Bill”. It was most likely produced by the legal department of the SAPS in 2017, and intended to be presented to the Minister of Police for consideration as a possible amendment to the Firearms Control Act. Some of the suggested changes provided for in this draft are draconian to say the least.
SA Hunters believe the document was leaked deliberately by a source in the Police to create panic among firearm owners and to draw the attention away from a number of other more important matters that the Police do not know how to deal with.
Releasing this document now is a creative and clever way to create panic to hide other urgent matters, i.e.:
- There are still about 750 000 old green licences valid since 2009;
- More or less 470 000 white licences that had lapsed and not renewed in time; and
- the SAPS legal team applied for approval to appeal the GOSA interim interdict and for months already have not done anything further about it.
On Wednesday, 18 October, the Chairman of the Portfolio Committee on Police, Mr Francois Beukman, issued a statement confirming that this document has no legal status and was not on the agenda for discussion by the Portfolio Committee on Police.
Amendment of an act must follow a specific process through various channels and discussions before being submitted to President to be signed and promulgated. This process can take about six months.
SA Hunters will oppose unfair and unreasonable amendments to the Firearms Control Act and will take legal action and approach the High Court for relief, if necessary.
The Association will continue to take constructive action to ensure that we retain the right to protect ourselves, our families and our assets. We will remain rational, realistic and reasonable. We will not be intimidated or upset or raise panic by a document that has no legal status whatsoever.
Firearm owners are advised to keep calm and not pay attention to public panic on this matter and misinformation in the media and on social media. Nothing will happen overnight. We advise gunowners that do not yet belong to an accredited and credible organisation that can protect their interests, to join one now.
Issued by the SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association (SA Hunters)