Date: 06 July 2018 By: Andries van Zyl
The South African Police Service has called upon firearm owners who failed to renew their firearms in time, to hand in their weapons at their nearest police station.
The call comes after the recent Constitutional Court ruling stating that any person who has failed to renew their firearm licences as contemplated in terms of Section 24 and Section 3 of the Firearms Control (Act 60 of 2000), will be declared to be unlawfully possessing a firearm(s) from the date on which the period of validity of the licence(s) expired and will be required to surrender all such firearms.
“The South African Police Service has announced that the firearm owners whose licences had expired, may surrender such firearms and ammunition with no fear to their nearest police station. The implementation plan was developed to operationalise the surrender process,” said provincial police spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe in a press release on Thursday.
Ngoepe said the firearm owners who had failed to re-register in time should take serious note of the situation. He encouraged them to follow the clearly outlined plan by the police.
The plan stated that:
* No police station must send any person away who wants to surrender their firearms.
* All firearms with the expired licences, must be handed in for destruction.
* All police stations have all the necessary resources to deal with surrendered firearms and ammunition.
* Firearms will not be held for more than 24 hours at the police stations.
* All handed in firearms will be handed in at a designated place to minimise risks.
* All firearms owners will be provided with a receipt that reflects the Occurrence Book (OB) entry and SAPS 13 number.
* A consolidated report to be sent to the SAPS’ provincial office before 08:00 daily.
* No compensation will be paid for illegal Firearms and illegal Firearms cannot be licenced or handed over to the dealer.
* The only way to get rid of the firearm, is to surrender it to the police for destruction.
* It is a contravention of the Firearm Control Act when you damage, destroy or hand over the firearm to the police in pieces.
* If anyone encounters any form of problem about this process, the station commanders are there as sole custodian of this project.
“Please take note that the green licence that was not migrated to the white licence is still valid, but those who migrated from green to white licences cannot use the green licence as a valid licence for the firearm as it stopped to exist with the issuing of the white licence,” said Ngoepe. He added that all the SAPS’ doors, from the station commanders to the provincial office, are open in order to assist people to go through this process smoothly.
In the meantime, provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba has appealed to all members of the community in Limpopo to comply fully with this judgement without fail. He warned that those who are later found to be in possession of a firearm (and ammunition) of which the license expired, will be dealt with according to the Firearms Act. “They will be arrested and charged for being in possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition” concluded the General.
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.