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News - Date: 14 July 2017
Written by: Andries van Zyl / Viewed: 233
The SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association (SA Hunters) has called on the public to abide by existing firearm laws until the current legal challenge to the constitutionality of Section 24 and 28 of the Firearms Control Act has been concluded in the Constitutional Court.
In a press release issued on Tuesday, SA Hunters CEO Mr Fred Camphor said that the association was concerned about misleading and incorrect advice about the status of firearm licences and the renewal process that appeared in newspapers and on social media during the past week. This so-called advice ranged from “you do not need to apply for re-licensing your firearm any longer” to “ask your firearm back from the police station where you handed it in”.
“The law has not changed. The SAPS’s notice to appeal against the Gauteng North High Court judgement on 4 July that declared Sections 24 and 28 unconstitutional, suspends the High Court ruling. We are waiting for a clarification from the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court on the legal process following the SAPS’s notice of appeal,” said Camphor.
Camphor added that the association sent a newsletter to its 41 000 members to request them to be patient and to act within the constraints of the Act and the legal process. “Civil disobedience is not a remedy for a complex problem. We request all firearm owners to act responsibly,” said Camphor.
In the interest of proper legal procedures and the law, SA Hunters advises firearm owners as follows:
* If your firearm licence is due to lapse, apply in good time for the renewal of that licence. Complete the application, attach the required documents and submit it to the designated firearms officer at your local police station as required by law.
* If you have already handed in a firearm to the police, retain the proof thereof very carefully. Do not ask the police to give you back your firearm. They will not do it.
* If you are in possession of a firearm of which the licence lapsed, please keep it locked away in your safe and preferably do not use it.
In a press statement earlier last week, the SAPS indicated that they would not prosecute any person for being in possession of a firearm of which the licence had lapsed, and they would not destroy any firearms already handed in to the SAPS prior to the court decision being received. “The Constitutional Court is in recess until the end of July and I doubt if we will receive any directives before mid-August,” said Camphor.
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Andries joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in April 1993 as a darkroom assistant. Within a couple of months he moved over to the production side of the newspaper and eventually doubled as a reporter. In 1995 he left the newspaper group and travelled overseas for a couple of months. In 1996, Andries rejoined the Zoutpansberger as a reporter. In August 2002, he was appointed as News Editor of the Zoutpansberger, a position he holds until today.