And now there is another court judgement about expired firearms licences that could cause yet more confusion in the gun trade – or do you think not? The latest interdict, granted in the North Gauteng High Court on Friday 27 July, however, gives firearms owners with expired licences a reprieve. The urgent interim interdict sought by the Gun Owners Association of SA (GOSA) was to prevent the police from demanding that owners with lapsed licenses must hand in their firearms at police stations for destruction.
The interdict also prevents the police from accepting firearms from owners with expired licences.
This is in anticipation of a possible amnesty for the holders of expired licences, as announced by Police Minister Bheki Cele, which has not yet been approved by parliament. Once the amnesty is announced, this could mean that gun owners with expired licences would be able to hand in their firearms at police stations while they apply for new licences.
GOSA, on the other hand want to apply to the court to extend the validity of expired licences, or for the police to supply a detailed security plan, explaining how they will ensure that firearms handed in for safekeeping won’t end up in the wrong hands.
In the meantime, this uncertainty surrounding more than 400 000 expired licences could have an impact on the trade. Which need not be all bad if it encourages consumers to buy alternatives like airguns and bows and arrows that don’t require licences. Share your thoughts here.