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The Firearms Control Act of 2000
Click THIS LINK if you wish to read the FCA document
But unless you want a legalese-induced headache read on here!
The FCA was promulgated in 2000 but only came into effect in 2004.
Whilst the government paid lip service to the concept of 'consultation' and claimed it welcomed and would 'consider' submissions from interested parties, according to Martin Hood, himself an advocate and President of the South African Gun Owners Association (SAGA) very little contained in many submissions from numerous interested bodies involved in firearms and shooting sports have been incorporated into the final legislation after amendments.
In fact it is clear from a reading of Hood's bulletins on Yhe SAGA website, published also in Magnum magazine (shooter's magazine), that the attitude of the government and the SAPS is in line with the belief that disarmament, NOT the claimed "improved" firearm control is the ultimate objective of this legislation. As an aside a worrying question is, since this legislation will not acheive that aim, what will follow it? Of course we begin to be able to answer that question now in 2019 with leaked papers indicating the official intent to radically reduce and limit the nature of firearms permitted, even by the security industry for instance!
This website is not aimed at avid sport shooters or hunters or collectors. We are sure that those groups are 'up to speed' with all facets of the legislation as it affects them, but the average defensive handgun/shotgun owning citizen may not be as familiar with the details of the act - and of course the devil is very much in the detail when it comes to this shocking and unconstitutional piece of law-making!
First - and most important - if you are the owner of any number of firearms for which you possess a licence issued under the previous licencing regulations and you have not yet applied for a new licence under the FCA, do not think that you have to hand in your weapons - all licences existing now which were issued under prev. legislation remain valid.The police may tell you otherwise - this is a lie.
One handgun (not fully automatic) or one manually operated shotgun (not fully or semi-automatic) Licence will be valid for five years.
Privately owned firearms licensed for self-defence may not be used by security officers for business purposes.
There is provision for more than one person in the same household to have a licence for the same firearm. This is called an Additional Licence and must be applied for in the same way as other licences.
There is provision for one ‘restricted ‘ firearm for self-defence e.g. a semi-automatic shotgun or rifle. But only if you can prove that a handgun is not adequate. This licence will be valid for two years and will be difficult to obtain.
2. Occasional Sporting or Hunting Use:
Maximum of four firearms of which only one can be a handgun (not fully automatic), the others can be manually operated shotguns or rifles, not fully or semi-automatic.
If you already own a firearm licensed for self-defence (as per above) then that counts as one of these four.
Of the three remaining licences, one may be a handgun (not fully automatic). Licence will be valid for ten years.
3. Dedicated Collectors, Sportsmen and Hunters
Theoretically they will be exempt from the numerical limits, but will have to prove a need for each firearm.
To apply for a licence in this category you have to belong to a relevant association that has been accredited. The associations will have to submit annual reports on member participation, on anyone applying to be a member and on membership status to the Central Firearms Register.
Bona fide status will no longer apply as the firearm licence itself is now category based.
You may have a handgun or shotgun (not semi-auto) for self-defence and three additional firearms one of which may be a handgun. HOWEVER you still have to 'prove' a need for each licence. It does not simply mean you will be granted licences. An "occasional" person may therefore obtain licences for:
1 handgun + 3 long guns OR 2 handguns + 2 long guns OR 4 long guns
This all sounds simple, doesn't it? After all, you have had a gun for years, looked after it, secured it, been lucky and never had the need to use it in anger perhaps - you have taken all steps necessary to become and remain a responsible gun-owner - why should there be a problem?
That of course is what all law-abiding people would be inclined to think, and we at Gunfacts believed just that, until we started to discover the true situation regarding relicencing.
The biggest hurdle, apart from jumping through the hoops of competency certificates and the cost of the process, is due to the manner in which the SAPS are approaching this exercise.
Firstly, the reason you put on your first application, back in the day, 'self-defence' just will not cut it anymore - virtually all licence renewals are turned down when that is given as the motivation. Whatever reason you give had also better be backed up by some convincing "evidence of need", otherwise no chance.
Since the implementation of the FCA in 2004 it appears that the vast majority of applications, whether new or renewals have been refused on arbitrary grounds, with no reasons given, other than "Not convinced of need"!
To get the full background on this situation visit the following websites: (be prepared for a good read - there's lots to assimilate!)
Oh - and one more thing - if you should decide to surrender your firearm voluntarily, or if you do decide to make application to relicence your firearm, you need to know that the FCA makes provision for compensation. However the police will not be very cooperative in giving you the appropriate forms for a compensation claim, and the Minister for Safety and Security (a bit of a misnomer there?) has already stated, quite recently that he does not intend to pay compensation. There you go again, the government breaking the law, as usual!