2009-05-27 : Press Release : Interdict against Firearms Control Act
GOSA INSTRUCTS ITS LEGAL REPRESENTATIVES TO INTERDICT THE UNLAWFUL UNCONSTITUTIONAL 'LAPSING' OF FIREARMS LICENCES ISSUED UNDER THE ARMS AND AMMUNITION ACT 75 OF 1969
Gun Owners of South Africa have given instructions to our legal team to apply for an interdict to end the Central Firearms Register's fiction that firearms licences issued in terms of the Arms and Ammunition Act 75 of 1969 cease to be valid June 30th 2009.
Gun Owners of South Africa (GOSA) reject with contempt the unlawful and unconstitutional intimidation tactics of the SAPS Central Firearm Register, particularly their threats to confiscate legally acquired property and arrest legal gun owners.
We have just seen the country's newly elected government swear to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law. What about the SAPS members who work for the Firearms Register? Did they not swear an oath to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law?
The Central Firearms Register is desperate. The CFR's refusal to pay compensation for surrendered firearms comes before the Western Cape High Court August 31st. The Register has not been able to offer a plea on the merits. Thumbing their noses at the Constitution, the rule of law and Section 137 of the Firearms Control Act is clearly indefensible.
The Register is now engaged in a last-ditch desperate attempt to try to bully and defraud a few hundred thousand more owners of licensed firearms, specifically the elderly, into handing in their firearms before the Western Cape High Court orders the Register to pay compensation for any firearm handed in for destruction.
Their objective - to be able to report back to their Minister that the Act might have been found unconstitutional but it had enabled them to reduce the number of licensed firearms in circulation by a million.
The rape of the Constitution and gun owners' rights are mere collateral damage to them -- like the defenceless elderly persons who have been murdered after handing in their firearms.
The Act was supposed to be implemented over 3 years (budgeted for) from 2000-2003. That means relicensing was supposed to have been COMPLETED in 2003.
Despite clear indications that the FCA was unimplementable, of massive maladministration and looming implosion (which the CFR has never admitted to, nor been held to account for) the Act was brought into operation piecemeal - which the Act did not provide for - in 2004 because of pressure from GunFreeSA.
1969 Arms and Ammunition Act licences allegedly expire 5 years after
the Act is brought into operation.
Did the Central Firearms Register not promise that renewals would be processed in 3 months?
So, the legislature estimated the CFR would need two years after successful implementation and the conclusion of the renewal process for polishing, tweaking, legal matters outstanding like appeals against refused renewals and the winding up of similar legal processes, etc etc. Most importantly, it gave people who had to get rid of their firearms because their renewal remedies
had been exhausted a further 2 years to exercise their options.
One of the main provisos of the Act - the compensation provisions which the state law advisors insisted upon, to give this Act the appearance of passing constitutional muster - has never been brought into operation. The Justice Alliance of SA is hauling the CFR before the Court on August 31 to bring the compensation provisions into operation.
According to Schedule 1 (3) and 10(4) of the Firearms Control Act gun owners who surrendered their firearms have a further 6 months to file process after surrender.
Could it possibly have been the intention of the legislature or the
purpose of the Act to have all licences issued under the Arms and
Ammunition Act 1969 cease to be valid and have the SAPS start locking
up people who legally acquired the property they are unwilling to be
dispossessed of so blatantly unlawfully --
a.. When license renewals are backlogged for 3 years and the entire
administration of the FCA is in a state of perpetual collapse and
b.. While there is no compensation roll-out in place and S137 of the FCA has very deliberately never been brought into operation?
c.. When the JASA compensation case is pending in the Western Cape High
The Central Firearms Register has a well documented history of unlawful conduct - thumbing its nose at the Constitution and the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000 routinely.
A backlog of license applications is nothing new to the Central Firearms Register. The Register has a track record of mass refusals on specious grounds as a way to deal with that backlog. It is hardly inconceivable that the Register will deal with its 3-year backlog in licence renewals like it dealt with its previous licence application backlog by refusing renewals en masse after July 1, leaving gun owners who took part in the renewal farce in unlicensed possession of their firearms - which they will have to get rid of overnight.
[A backlog the Register denied existed on Carte Blanche and Fokus one week and then promised on Fokus - two weeks later - to clear up by the end of 2010.]
Disenchanted SAPS Firearms Officers are hinting to Gun Owners that very few resources are being applied to the 3 year back-log in firearms license renewals. Considering that the relicensing process started 5 years ago, and the fact that the next round of relicensing is about to begin all over again, these statistics speak volumes of a completely unworkable and impractical piece of legislation.
[If there are persons with special knowledge of the renewal/firearms licensing farce, who wish to blow the whistle, they are welcome to contact GOSA via the contact details on our website (http://www.gunownerssa.org). Confidentiality is assured.]
Gun Owners of South Africa demand an audit of the Firearms Control Act
Dereliction of duty by our Auditor General
The Canadian Gun Registry, upon which our Firearms Control Act is based, was subject to an audit by the Canadian auditor-general in 2002. The audit showed massive overspending (from the original budget of $2 million, to more than $600 million). Then, in 2006, in their legislation was audited for again for a second time. The result - $1 Billion! A 500 fold overspend of their initial budget. Now, Canadian MP's are saying: "past the $2 Billion Canadian Dollar mark and counting!"
The Firearms Control Act was supposed to cost R217 million over 3 years (2000 - 2003). Then it was exposed that this R217 million was additional funding, to an already budgeted R882 million which did NOT include vehicles, computers and computer systems, salaries or even office furniture. This unimplementable Act cost at least 1 Billion Rand in 1999. It is now 10 years later - how many times have you needed to upgrade your computer software and hardware since then? Replace your car?
It is time to call a halt to this charade.