SAPS have confirmed to the South African Gunowners’ Association (SAGA) that the raids launched on April 11th have been halted. The operation, apparently aimed at gun owners only in the Western Cape and narrowly focused on the northern suburbs of Durbanville and Kraaifontein, saw multiple gun owners being strong-armed by SAPS to hand over guns with expired licences.
SAGA was reliably informed that in one instance 13 SAPS personnel attended one home. SAGA Board Member and Firearms Law specialist attorney, Damian Enslin said that he was perplexed at the action of SAPS, not only with regard to the likely disregard for the Firearms Control Act, Administrative Law and Constitutional Rights, but also because the very issue of expired licences is on the High Court role for later in April.
“SAGA suspects that this activity has been politically motivated and we are determined to get to the bottom of it. SAGA invites any gun owner who experienced a visit from SAPS in March or April in connection with this issue to contact us for assistance – whether a gun was confiscated or not. We believe that the action of SAPS in the Western Cape last week was legally actionable. Whilst SAGA has a long-established reputation of dealing respectfully and positively with the challenges surrounding firearm law, we are also not prepared to stand by and watch gun owners targeted unfairly and possibly illegally,” said Enslin.
SAGA emphasizes that as at this date lawful gun owners are advised that:
- If you are in possession of the old green licence, that licence is still valid in terms of an Order of the High Court – a copy of this order is available from SAGA.
- If SAPS personnel or anyone under their command, after correctly identifying themselves, and providing some form of warrant or authorization insists on taking possession of your gun, you are advised to cooperate with them while pointing out that a green licence is valid at this date. Moreover, with respect to the validity of expired White Licences you may point out that within weeks of this date various high profile court actions are due to be heard. SAGA legal counsel believes the so-called raids and any confiscation of guns as a result thereof is possibly breaching the Firearms Control Act and other laws.
- SAGA is considering an urgent interdict to address this issue – It will, however not be helpful for a gun owner to refuse to cooperate with the police.
- Before Signing any document presented to you by the police in this context contact SAGA (Damian Enslin – cell number 0826522150 or Jonathan Deal 023 358 9903 or whatsap to 076 838 5150.) A document that can be applied in the case of handing over a gun to SAPS for safekeeping – not surrender – is available from SAGA, and can be downloaded from SAGA’s website.
- This advice or assistance is offered to all gun owners who are free to contact SAGA.
South Africa Today – South Africa News