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Firearm amnesty facts

SAPS provides residents further information on the firearm amnesty period.

SAPS recently issued more information on the amnesty period of six months, which has commenced from December 1 2019 to May 31 2020.

• In terms of section 138 of the Firearm Control Act, ‘amnesty’ means an indemnity against prosecution for the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

• There is no indemnity for firearms used to commit crime such as murder, robbery, hijacking etc.

• The amnesty creates an opportunity for members of the public to surrender illegally possessed or unwanted firearms, ammunition or firearm parts to the SAPS without fear of being prosecuted for the unlawful possession thereof.

• The objectives of amnesty is to reduce a large pool of illegal or unwanted firearms, ammunition and or firearm parts that are in circulation in the country.

• A person who surrenders a firearm during the period of amnesty will be required to complete and sign the necessary forms at the nearest police station and must insist on a copy of SAPS 548 or amnesty form.

• In terms of section 139(4)(a) of the Firearm Control Act 2000 (Act No.60 of 2000) a person who surrenders a firearm in compliance with a notice published in terms of subsection (1) may apply in terms of this Act for a licence in respect of that firearm.

• The person who applies for a firearm licence as indicated above must comply with the provisions of the Act applicable to the licensing of a firearm which includes the following:

o The limitation on the number of firearms for different categories for which a person may legally possess.

o The applicant must be in possession of a valid competency certificate of the firearm for which a licence is applied for.

o The person who applies for a firearm licence is required to physically hand in the firearm to the Designated Amnesty Official and lodge an application within 14 days.

• Only the person who physically surrenders the firearm to the Designated Amnesty Official personally applies for a licence in respect of such.

• The application for the firearm licence must be submitted to the relevant Designated Amnesty Official responsible for the area wherein the applicant ordinarily reside and must comply with the following:

o A certified copy of the applicant’s competency certificate.

o In case where the applicant does not possess a competency certificate, she/he must apply for a competency certificate in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

o Complete form 271 on which the applicant has indicated intention to apply for the specific firearm licence.

The application for a firearm licence will only be accepted by the Designated Amnesty Official on condition it is in compliance with the provision of the act.

o Provide a comprehensive motivation to support the need for the firearm licence.

Preferably in the form of a statement under oath or affirmation

o Provide a certified copy of the legal firearm licence, permit or authorisation applicable to the specific firearm.

For more information, visit the SAPS website: www.saps.gov.za

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