Dear Redot Clients.
The urgent court interdict in the Pretoria High Court to set the firearms amnesty aside, has this morning been settled with the Minister of Police and with the National Commissioner of Police
The agreement was made an order of court.
The application was settled as the NHSA’s urgent court application resulted in the Police changing their policy in respect of the requirement that an applicant for a new firearm license must be in possession of a valid competency certificate at the time when a new license application is submitted.
The new SAPS directive, which was issued due to the NHSA urgent application, provides that an application for the renewal of, or for a new competency certificate, can be submitted simultaneously with an application for a new firearm license under the amnesty. Thus, changing the negatives attached to the amnesty’s stipulation that an application for a new licence has to be submitted 14 days after the specific firearm has been surrendered to SAPS (which requires a valid competency to be attached).
This change in policy has created the possibility that a person with an expired licence and expired competency certificate can effectively take part in the amnesty in order to legitimize the possession of such a firearm (thus countering the 14 days stipulation of the amnesty).
A new licence application can thus now be submitted together with an application for a renewal of the competency within 14 days after the firearm has been handed in with SAPS.
NHSA was unfortunately not successful in getting SAPS to agree that such applicants could remain in possession of their firearms until the application had been finalised (the FCA states that firearms have to be handed in with SAPS under an amnesty).
In view of the fact that the amnesty can now be used to obtain a new licence for a firearm with an expired licence without a valid competency, caused the urgency of the court application to set the amnesty aside, has fallen away. NHSA has consequently been advised by legal council to settle the dispute and rather try to create a relationship of respect between SAPS and accredited associations.
The court order is thus, that NHSA withdraws its application and that each party pays its own cost. The effect is that the amnesty will continue but with more appropriate conditions for application for new licences for expired licences.
A comprehensive instruction letter containing all facts will by posted shortly.