An agent specialising in the shipment of arms and ammunition has approached the High Court in Pretoria for relief after being told that it could no longer apply for permits on behalf of clients.
The application by Blu Air Sea and Land Logistics, one of SA’s largest agents specialising in the shipment of arms and ammunition, was postponed indefinitely.
Blu Air wants the court to declare that it is entitled to act as an agent for and to submit applications for import, export and in-transit permits on behalf of firearm dealers and any other person who had authorised them in writing to do so.
Blue Air director Megan Pillar alleged in court papers the administration of the Central Firearms Registry was “rather chaotic”, which had led to hundreds of court applications and resulted in many punitive costs orders against the police.
She said the Central Firearms Registry had numerous changes of command over the past few years, which was indicative of a complete lack of continuity of management at all senior levels.
“The Central Firearms Registry and, in fact, the Saps in general are utterly lacking in understanding administrative justice and administrative processes. “Decisions are made unilaterally, policies are changed, directives are issued and the persons that are the subject of such changed or policies are not even advised thereafter,” she said.
Pillar said her company had successfully lodged over 200 applications for import and export permits on behalf of clients as part of an all-round service, but was in October last year told that the Firearms Registry now required that the person in whose favour the permit was required must sign the documentation.
Pillar alleged the Firearms Control Act did not specifically prohibit applications on behalf of clients but the Central Firearms Register commander, Colonel Ramphuti Chabangu, said her application was ill-considered and she was asking the court to ignore the clear provisions of the Act.