The North Gauteng High Court today ruled in favour of the Applicant (SA Hunters) regarding the expired firearm licence case.
The court’s order is as follows:
Sections 24 and 28 of the Firearms Control Act of 2000 are declared unconstitutional.
Parliament is given 18 months in order to amend the Act and bring it in line with the Constitution.
All firearm licences issued in terms of the FCA of 2000 which were or are due for renewal are to remain valid.
The implications of the order are potentially far-reaching, and will only become obvious with time.
For the next 18 months, or until Parliament succeeds at rectifying the renewal provisions in the Act, it will not be possible nor necessary for anyone to renew a firearms licence.
The judgement (provided below) makes for interesting reading in itself. It is marked as reportable and of interest to other judges, and there is a recurring theme that “the papers attest to a narrative of a chaotic and dysfunctional system of licencing and administration of firearms” which runs throughout the entire judgement. Key indicators of judicial displeasure are words used by Judge Tolmay, for example using “insurmountable” to describe the problems attendant to the administration of the Act.
This is a significant victory for the entire firearm-owning community in South Africa, and it is strangely apt that it should occur on the 4th of July. This event is a significant step forward in our collective struggle against unworkable, arbitrary, inefficient, and unreasonable regulation.
We would like to congratulate the principles of the various cases (SA Hunters, Fidelity Security Services, and SAADA), their supporting organisations (SAGA in the case of SAHGCA, and GOSA in the case of SAADA), and their legal counsel.
Those of you who have handed firearms in to the SAPS because your licences have expired would do well to go and retrieve your lawful property as soon as possible.
We expect the South African Police Service to adhere to the order and obey the law, as is expected from the upholders of law and order in the Republic.
This outcome presents unique opportunities to us all to influence the future of gun ownership in South Africa. If you have not already become involved in the fight for your rights, the time is now.
Gideon Joubert / Gun Owners of South Africa