The state attorney informed SA Hunters of the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) intention to recall a 2009 High Court interdict that maintained the validity of the old green firearm licences. This communication was received on 8 September 2020.
The state attorney believes that firearm owners with old green licences had more than enough time during three amnesty periods to replace these licences without facing any legal consequences. The present amnesty period is the last one of the three referred to.
The state attorney suggests that SA Hunters withdraw the main application of 2009 and support the recall of the 2009 interdict. However, the board of SA Hunters was expecting this and already advised affected members to obtain their firearm competency certificates and apply for new licences to replace the old green firearm licences. In addition, the board has started deliberation with its legal team on managing the matter.
There are members of the public who would be in the same situation as SA Hunters members who still rely on the old green licences. Consequently, these people will also be affected if the interdict is recalled.
Another solution is needed for firearm licences
According to the best information available there are approximately 670 000 old green firearm licences that may still be valid and in use. SA Hunters does not believe it is feasible to use the current amnesty for firearm owners to surrender their firearms to the SAPS and reapply for new licences.
There are approximately 100 working days left of the current amnesty period. Consequently, it could mean that at least 6 700 firearms would be handed in at police stations per day. This excludes nearly 3 000 firearms per day of which the white firearm licences have expired and which must also be handed in. “Another practical solution would have to be found,” said Fred Camphor, CEO of SA Hunters.
SA Hunters will work with interest groups in the firearm-owner community and will consult with other interested parties and individuals towards finding a solution. SA Hunters requests interested groups and individuals to contact them to enable broad consultation. – Press release, SA Hunter sand Game Conservation Association