AfriForum is concerned that firearms submitted for safekeeping during the amnesty period, while owners may reapply for their licenses, may be mistaken for destruction. Firearms owners who use the amnesty period to re-apply are cautioned to ensure that their firearms are not part of the list of firearms destroyed.
This follows after Gen. National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole confirmed in a May 13 Government Gazette that weapons, ammunition and weapon parts that were voluntarily submitted or declared forfeit to the state would be destroyed. According to the SAPS website, the destruction of these firearms, ammunition and parts will take place on 25 June.
Under the firearm naming period, which is in effect until May 31, firearm owners can hand in their firearms at their nearest police station if they want to get rid of the firearms. This includes unlicensed firearms and the owner of the weapon will not be prosecuted because he has an unlicensed weapon in his possession. Owners who make use of the amnesty period can also apply for a license within 14 days of handing in the weapon. The weapon is then held at the SAPS while the application is being considered. If the application is successful, the owner can go and collect the weapon again. However, the reapplication process for licenses has been extended because licensing offices are not open during the seclusion period.
“It is a huge worry to apply for a firearm license, especially at this time. It will be a sad day if a person applies for a firearm, pays the money and goes through the administration to obtain the license, only to find out later that the firearm was accidentally destroyed, ”says Marnus Kamfer, AfriForum Community Legal and Risk Manager.
Firearms affected by this are requested to visit the police website to make sure the weapons they are applying for are not included in the list of weapons being destroyed. If a firearm is incorrectly listed, the prospective owner must send an email to [email protected] within 21 days (calculated from 13 May) to inform the SAPS thereof.