GOSA ON AMNESTY 2019/20

As we have stated previously, we would only comment once we had all the details regarding what has been termed “Operation Firearm Amnesty 2019/2020”.

We acknowledge the firearms amnesty period as a means for truly illegally-held and unwanted firearms to be handed in to SAPS for destruction and without prosecution, although, of course, no truly illegally-held firearms will be collected during the amnesty… mirroring the results of all the previous amnesties.

"As GOSA has an interdict in place stopping SAPS from taking away firearms of which the licence has expired, these firearms do not fall into the category of an illegal firearm. There is currently a legal process being followed in order to deal with these firearms." Says Anika Rossle, GOSA's in house counsel.

"We, however, have to stress and point out that Operation Firearm Amnesty 2019/2020 is NOT a means to renew ones expired white licence. There is no provision in the National Directive for people with expired licences to do so. You may apply for an entirely new licence, but that is a different proposition entirely." Said Paul Oxley, GOSA Chairperson on Thursday.

We urge our members not to be misled by companies or people trying to make a quick buck by capitalising on this ‘amnesty'. At this stage expired licences cannot be renewed as SAPS has not restored their IT system, nor retracted the unlawful National Directive of 2016 which prohibits the renewal of expired licences.

For more information on the amnesty, the terms or any questions you are unsure of, please check out our official Facebook page; and members are welcome to email us with their questions in order to clarify.

GOSA is constantly in need of Donor Funding for three main causes:

- We engage in litigation on principle (apart from the litigation that our legal team engages in on behalf of specific members). Last year we spent more than a million rands gaining an interdict on behalf of 400 000 firearm owners who had not been able to renew their licences for various reasons. Our litigation seeks to enforce the rule of law to the benefit of all South African society. This year we will have to spend more than that to defend our interdict and to force SAPS, in our main action, to repair the IT system which they sabotaged, or have firearm licences deemed to be permanent.

- We engage in public outreach programmes like our provincial Firearms festivals, and our special interest group events. Our Ladies Top Shot competition in January caught the imagination of the local press in an extremely positive way. Our smaller, provincial ladies introductory events are kicking off in Cape Town in March 2019. None of these are money-making events. They all run on donations and sponsorships or run at a small loss. This is inevitable, and acceptable as the words spreads and more and more people join our cause.

-Our political activism (representation in Parliament and in various encounters with government and other role players) costs money. Flights, car rental, accommodation, etc, etc. This fight will not be won in court, but in the public space where we can influence politicians and law-makers.

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Updated: 5/4/2020 10:45:43 PM

It has come to our attention that there is still confusion regarding the Green licences.
If you were issued a laminated green licence card or if your ID book was stamped or had a licence glued in, you are in possession of a green licence.
In the 2009 SA Hunters Case, Judge Prinsloo found that all firearm licences issued under Item 1 of Schedule 1 of the Firearms Control Act, 2000 (hereinafter "FCA") shall be deemed to be lawful and valid pending final adjudication of the main application.

Schedule 1 of the FCA
1. Existing licence to possess an arm
(1) Subject to subitem (2) and item 11, any licence which was issued in terms of the previous Act and which was valid immediately before the date of the commencement of this Act, remains valid for a period of five years from the date on which the Act comes into operation, unless such licence is terminated, cancelled or surrendered in terms of this Act.
If you read through the judgment it becomes clear that the Judge wanted to protect all firearm owners that were issued licences under the old act from prosecution and deprivation of their property.
Judge Prinsloo pointed out that at the time of the judgment there had been individuals who had not yet applied for a licence under the new act and that there were those who applied for the licence and were either successful or unsuccessful.

There is no mention of licences that were excluded from the judgment, nor is there any mention in the judgment that SAPS sought to exclude certain licences.
It only follows that an individual who had a green licence and subsequently received a licence in terms of the FCA is in possession of two valid licences.
There has been no movement on the main application in this 2009 SA Hunters matter. Resultantly the judgment is still in place.
During 2016 the SAPS brought out a directive which, in essence, noted that individuals who had subsequently received a licence in terms of the FCA had “migrated” and that the green licence would no longer be valid.
If one reads the entire judgment it is clear that the interpretation of SAPS is incorrect and contrary to an existing interim order.

 

There has been a recent judgment, in the South Gauteng High Court sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrates court, in which an individual was convicted of murder and the illegal possession of a firearm for which he had a green licence and an expired white licence. The Gauteng High Court Judges are bound to each other’s judgments and can only vary from the precedent if they maintain that the original judgment is clearly wrong.
Respectfully, after reading the judgment in the matter, it seems that the presiding officer did not take the SA Hunters Judgment into account and it is on this basis, that there would be grounds for an appeal in the above matter
GOSA maintains that the 2009 SA Hunters judgment is a well thought through matter and has been in place for 10 years. This is in sharp contrast to the above, respectfully, misplaced judgment.
We maintain that the green licences are and will remain valid until such time as the court decides otherwise.

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