Gun Owners South Africa (GOSA) have welcomed the court order which ruled that expired licensoe can be renewed and that the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) refusal to process late applications for renewal was unlawful.
Earlier this year, the North Gauteng High Court granted an interdict filed by GOSA against the South African Police Service (SAPS) which prevented SAPS from confiscating more than 400 000 expired guns and protecting owners with expired guns from prosecution.
National chairman of Gun Owners South Africa Paul Oxley said expired licenses can be renewed. He also stated that SAPS refusal to process late applications for renewal is unlawful.
Oxley said SAPS disputed the right of their attorney and the standing exco and chairman to bring this action. The judge was not pleased with this, terming the challenge “artificial to put it mildly”, “except with a fertile imagination” and an abuse of the court’s time, said Oxley.
“The court did not rule that police should not accept late renewals. The court did however recognise the police’s application that stated that you can renew it with certain conditions, however the court dismissed arguments against it,” he said.
SAPS argued there was no urgency because GOSA waited until July 2018 to challenge a February 2016 directive. This was dismissed due to the SA Hunters (and others) cases similarly dealing with this from a (now failed) different point of view only being resolved in June 2018.
Oxley said SAPS has admitted providing an internal guideline literally days after the ruling to its members on how to proceed regarding the use and possession of dagga following the ground-breaking ruling by the Constitutional Court in September but has blatantly ignored doing so for expired firearms licenses.
Oxley said people should not fear renewing the gun licenses as they will not be prosecuted.
“Whatever your reason is for your license expiring or for wanting to have your firearm licensed, police should accept your application,” he said.