Police to appeal against ruling on firearm licences

The police are preparing to challenge the court ruling that deemed two sections of the Firearms Control Act unconstitutional.

The Gauteng North High Court last week ruled in favour of the SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association (SA Hunters), deeming sections 24 and 28 unconstitutional.

This was due to the Central Firearms Registry being in a shambles.

Section 24 states a firearm owner wanting to renew a licence must do so 90 days before it expires, while Section 28 says if a licence has been cancelled the firearm must be disposed of within 60 days.

Yesterday, SA Hunters chief executive Fred Camphor called on all firearm owners to abide by existing laws until the matter had been concluded by the Constitutional Court.

Camphor said the police’s appeal effectively suspended the court ruling.

“We are waiting for a clarification from the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court on the legal process following SAPS’s notice of appeal.”

Camphor said SA Hunters had sent a newsletter to 41 000 members asking them to be patient while the legal process unfolds.

“Civil disobedience is not a remedy for a complex problem. We request all firearm owners to act responsibly,” he said.

“The Constitutional Court is in recess until the end of July – and I doubt if we will receive any directives before mid-August.”

Last week, national police spokesman Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said police would retain all firearms handed in by people who had failed to renew their licences.

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