POLICY FOR THE CONTROL OF FIREARMS IN SOUTH AFRICA (2022)

When we achieve responsible gun ownership and usage and reduce the ease with which guns can be obtained, we will be some way towards turning around the culture of violence that leaves us all vulnerable.

This Gun Control policy will contribute through:
· New firearms legislation
· Stringent enforcement of this legislation
· An enduring and inclusive education programme.

Mr SV Tshwete Minister for Safety and Security

CONTENTS
Problems relating to firearms - the need for a new policy
Illegal firearms
Licensed firearms
Firearms used for crime

AN OVERVIEW OF THE NEW POLICY TO ADDRESS THESE PROBLEMS
POLICY
1.What it means to be in possession of a firearm and ammunition
2.Types of licences and firearms you may possess
3.How to apply for a licence
4.Your legal duties as the owner of a firearm
5.Declaring a person unfit to own a firearm
6.The transfer of firearms
7.The powers of the SAPS
8.Forfeiting firearms and other penalties for offences
9.Firearm free areas

IMPLEMENTING THIS POLICY
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR SPECIFIC USERS
Hunters
Sports Shooters
Collectors
Firearms licensed for business use
State-owned firearms

PROBLEMS WITH FIREARMS: THE NEED FOR A NEW POLICY
The most serious problems with firearms in South Africa1 are the increasing number of both illegal and legal firearms and their direct and indirect contribution to the high levels of violent crime.

ILLEGAL FIREARMS
There are about half a million illegal firearms in the country already and more keep flowing into this pool.

The main sources of these illegal firearms are;
· firearms that have been stolen from private owners;
· firearms that have been lost or stolen from the South African Police Service (SAPS), the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and other State departments;
· home made firearms;
· firearms imported illegally from neighbouring states or through seaports;
· firearms distributed illegally in the former Transkei, Ciskei, Bophuthatswana and Venda;
· firearms missing from security companies.

It is estimated that of all the illegal firearms in the country:
· 200 000 have been stolen from or lost by the State;
· at least 150 000 have been stolen from or lost by private owners;
· 20 000 - 30 000 are homemade firearms.

Then umber of privately owned, licensed firearms that have been reported stolen or lost is increasing. In 1 998 alone, 30 220 firearms were lost or stolen from private owners. It is likely that most new, illegal firearms come from this source.

These figures may be an underestimate. People hesitate to report the theft or loss of a firearm in case they are charged with negligence.

Over the past five years, 63 801 firearms have been recovered. About 20 000 of these were recovered in 1 998, of which 3 000 were homemade.

LICENSED FIREARMS
Every month there are about 1 9 000 applications for new firearms to be licensed or for
ownership of a firearm to be transferred. Of these applications, about 1 6 000 are approved.
The Appeal Board later approves a further 28 percent of the applications rejected by the Central Firearms Register.

Table 1: Firearm licences issued in SA 1994 to 1998
1994:236033
1995:150928.
1996:195613
1997:195389
1998:183455

The next table shows the number and type of firearms registered in the country.
Table 2: Firearms Registered as on 26 July 1999
Pistols:1 942 550
Rifles:1 286 628
Revolvers: 841 870
Shotguns: 453 486
Combinations: 19 847
Light Machine Guns: 179
Carbines:80
Humane Killers:48
Homemade Firearms:13
Pen Flair: 2
Machine Guns: 2
Total: 4 544 705

Many people own more than one firearm. About 3.5 million of the above firearms are licensed to about 2.4 million private individuals. The rest are licensed to security companies and other institutions or registered to other State Departments (excluding SAPS, SANDF and Correctional Services).

In recent years the market for handguns has changed significantly. Cheap, poor quality handguns have taken over nearly half the market and numbers of new firearm owners are buying them.

FIREARMS USED FOR CRIME
An increasing amount of crime is committed with a firearm. This is the case whether the crime is a murder or whether it is a robbery.

Statistics related to the use of firearms in murders and non-natural deaths show that:
· In 1998, 49 percent of all murders and 75 percent of all attempted murders were committed with firearms.
· Firearms are responsible for 30 percent of all non-natural deaths in the country. This amounts to approximately 18 000 people each year.
· Over 170 police officers are murdered with firearms each year. Handguns are used in most of these murders.

Statistics related to firearms involved in robberies and attempted robberies show that:
· In 1996 firearms were used in 76 percent of all robberies. In 1998 this had risen to 85 percent.

Robberies involving firearms include the hijacking of vehicles, robbery of cash-in transit and bank robberies. Statistics involving hijackings of vehicles in 1 998 show that:
· An average of 42 cars a day were hijacked. Thi5 is an increase of 1 8 percent compared to 1996.
· An average of 1 5 trucks a day were hijacked. This is an increase of 34 percent compared to 1997.

A Table 2 shows, most of the firearms registered at the Central Firearms Register are handguns, and this is the type of firearm most commonly used in crime. In 1998, a handgun was used in at least 57 percent of all murders that were committed with a firearm and 80 percent of all attempted murders where a firearm was used. This is why the new policy emphasises improved control over ownership and use of handguns.

The number of AK47, used in crimes has decreased. A large number of R4 and R5 rifles, made in South Africa for State use, are being used in the commission of crimes such as highjacking and robbery of cash-in-transit vehicles.

AN OVERVIEW OF THE NEW POLICY TO ADDRESS THESE PROBLEMS
There is a critical need for a new policy to cut down on the number of firearms in the country and to protect South African citizens from the crime associated with both illegal and legal firearms.

The new policy document which has been approved by Cabinet contains 36 recommendations. These policies aim to:
· reduce all forms of gun-related violence and crime in South Africa;
· reduce the availability of firearms
· change the attitude of the public towards firearms and encourage a culture of responsible gun ownership;
· make owners of licensed firearms more directly accountable for them and reduce the irresponsible use of them;
· reduce the number of illegal firearms through stricter controls aimed at cutting off the sources of new illegal firearms and at increasing the recoveries by the SAPS and the SANDF; have stricter monitoring of all firearms in the country, so that the whereabouts of all privately owned and State-owned firearms are known at all times.
· give the Police appropriate powers to investigate, confiscate and arrest with a view to successful prosecution.

Behind these objectives are four fundamental principles:
It is better to encourage citizens to comply willingly with firearm control measures, than to enforce these measures.
· People have a duty to show that they are fit to own a firearm. if they cannot do this they cannot legally own a firearm.
· There will be a particular emphasis on the control of handguns;
· Firearms which have been recovered or handed in to the State will in most cases be destroyed.

The 36 policy recommendations can be grouped together under the following headings:

1. What it means to possess a firearm
2.Types of licences and firearms you may possess
3.How to apply for a licence
4.Your legal duties as the owner of firearm
5.Declaring a person unfit to own a firearm
6.The transfer of firearms
7.The powers of the SAPS
8.Forfeiting firearms and other penalties for offences
9.Firearm free areas

POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS
1.WHAT IT MEANS TO BE IN POSSESSION OF A FIREARM AND AMMUNITION
Before looking at how to get a licence for a firearm, it is important to be clear about what it means to be in possession of a firearm and of ammunition.

Possession is a legal term, and has a wider meaning than ownership. Possession has two elements, namely, the intention to possess the firearm and either physical possession or control over the firearm. So you can be in possession of a firearm even if it does not belong to you. If you are carrying a firearm or if you have a firearm on your premises or in your vehicle or any other means of transport that you own or are driving, you may be considered to be in possession of it.

In most instances you require a licence in order to be legally in possession of a firearm.
There are exceptions when possession does not require a licence. For example, if you are holding a firearm while you are learning to use it and you are with a licensed instructor or if you are carrying it as part of a business that manufactures firearms or if you handle a firearm with the consent of a licensed owner and that owner is present at the time.

Anyone in possession of a State owned firearm as part of his/her duties, is also exempt from the requirement to license that firearm.

You may only possess ammunition if you have a licensed firearm which uses that particular calibre of ammunition. You cannot possess more than 200 rounds per calibre of firearm at one time, and may not buy more than 2400 rounds per year. Exceptions are made for sports shooters and hunters (see page 15/16 Specific Users). The Registrar must be given proof that the ammunition is for a specific, licensed firearm. Some types of ammunition can only be used by the State.

2. TYPES OF LICENCES AND FIREARMS YOU MAY POSSESS
All firearms are classified according to how they are used and their capabilities.

Civilians, except in certain limited cases, may not possess certain firearms, such as fully automatic rifles and machine guns. These are Category 1 firearms and are prohibited.

Semi-automatic rifles may be licensed to civilians or security companies in special circumstances. These are Category 2 firearms.

The following are Category 3 firearms. They must be licensed if they are privately owned,
and must be registered at the Central Firearm Register when in the possession of the State:
· all handguns, pistols and revolvers;
· dangerous airguns (i.e. high powered airguns);
· shotguns;
· rifles;
· tranquilliser firearms.

Category 3 firearms are further divided according to their use:
· firearms for self defence (Category 3A);
· firearms for occasional hunters or recreational sport shooters (Category 3B)
· firearms for dedicated hunters ( Category 3C)
· firearms for dedicated sports shooters (Category 3D)

Within Category 3, the licensing period, and the maximum number of firearms that can be owned, differs. This is dealt with ;n more detail at the end of this policy summary, in the section on specific users.

There are two other categories Category 4 firearms are in collections and Category S firearms are for businesses which have licences to own a number of firearms.
Table 3 summarises this information and shows the number of firearms in each category which a person may possess.

There are two stages to the new licensing system. The first stage is a personal competency certificate, which requires applicants to show that they are fit and competent to own a firearm. The next stage is the licensing of a specific firearm to that applicant. Applications for the two processes will be made together.

HOW TO APPLY FOR A PERSONAL COMPETENCY CERTIFICATE AND A FIREARM LICENCE
Ownership of a firearm is a privilege, granted on the basis that the owner is responsible and reliable. No one will be able to get a licence to possess a firearm unless he or she has a personal competency certificate and is over the age of 18,(except where the applicant belongs to one of the dedicated categories).

To apply for a personal competency certificate you will have to fill in forms for the Registrar. In addition to information about your personal details, address and a photograph, the applicant will also have to provide sworn declarations in connection with the following:
· any relevant medical history, including any dependence on or abuse of alcohol or drugs;
· any legal charges, convictions or court orders that you have had against you in South
Africa or elsewhere;
· whether you are awaiting trial for any offences;
· whether you have had a final restraining order made against you in terms of the Domestic Violence Act.

You will also have to provide a certificate, from an approved institute, confirming that you have passed a course on the content of the Firearms Control Act, and that you have been trained in the safe, practical, use of the firearm that you wish to have licensed. Finally, you will have to provide two sworn testimonials regarding your character and your circumstances.

It is a serious offence to provide false information when you make your application.

In the application for a firearm licence, the dealer who is supplying your firearm has to provide information about the firearm (type, model, serial number), its history, and any markings which might help the SAPS identify it, if necessary.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOUR APPLICATIONS?
The applications for both the personal competency certificate and the firearm licence will be checked thoroughly. A Designated Firearm Officer from the SAPS may:
· carry out background checks, including interviewing your neighbours or employer; if necessary;
· talk to the people who wrote your testimonials, if necessary;
· take your fingerprints and have them checked in case you have a criminal history;
· make spot checks on other information supplied in your declaration;
· come to your home to check on the address that you have given and also to see if you have a safe place to store your firearm and ammunition;
· check the firearm against the information given by the dealer;
· make a recommendation regarding whether or not you are a fit person to be given a certificate and a licence to possess the specific firearm.

The Registrar of the Central Firearm Register will consider your application and approve or reject it. if your application is rejected, you may appeal to the Appeal Board.

UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES WILL YOU BE REFUSED A LICENCE?
Table 4 below, shows what offences will lead to an enquiry in a court, about the fitness of a person to be given a firearm licence. Anyone who has already been found guilty of any of these will be refused a licence for five years.

A person who has or this Act will not been declared unfit in terms of the previous Arms and Ammunition Act get a licence until the declaration has been cancelled or expires.

Table 4: Offences that will lead to an unfitness enquiry by a court
1.High treason
2.Sedition
3.Sabotage
4.Terrorism
5.Public violence
6.Arson
7.Intimidation
8.Rape
9.Malicious damage to property
1 0.Entering any premises whether under the common law or a statutory provision, with the intent to commit an offence
11. Kidnapping
12.Child stealing
13.Culpable homicide
14.Extortion
15.An offence -
(a)in terms of this Firearms Control Act or the previous Act;
(b)involving the abuse of alcohol or drugs;
(c)involving dealing in drugs;
(d)in terms of the Domestic Violence Act, 1998; or
(e)involving violence or dishonesty,
(f)in terms of the Explosives Act, 1956.
16. Any conspiracy, incitement or attempt to commit any offence referred to in this Schedule.

CAN THE REGISTRAR TAKE AWAY YOUR COMPETENCY CERTIFICATE OR YOUR LICENCE. ONCE YOU HAVE IT?
Yes, if the Registrar finds out information about you that alters the information in your application forms, your competency certificate and licence may be cancelled.

AN YOU APPLY FOR A LICENCE TO POSSESS A FURTHER FIREARM?
The number of firearms allowed depends on the type and category. This was dealt with on page 7 in the section. Types of firearms you may possess and their categories.

FOR HOW LONG WILL YOUR LICENCE BE VALID?
Your licence must be renewed after a certain period, depending on the category. The following table shows the period for which licences in different categories are valid.

Table 5: Categories of licences and how long they are valid for


CAN MORE THAN ONE PERSON GET A LICENCE TO USE THE SAME FIREARM
Where a firearm is being used for self-defence, sporting activities or hunting, one person, other than the person holding the licence, may be given a licence to use the same firearm if the person has the same residence as the person holding the licence.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU WANT TO RENEW YOUR LICENCE?
You must apply to renew your licence at least 90 days before it is due to expire.

The designated firearm office will check:
· that you still have the firearm indicated on the licence;
· the address and safe place where the firearm is stored;
· whether you are still a fit and competent person to own the firearm;
· whether you still know and understand the Firearms Control Act

you do not apply to renew your licence, and it expires, you will be regarded as being in possession of an illegal firearm.

WHAT HAPPENS IF A LICENSED FIREARM OWNER DIES?
Within 60 days of the estate being settled, the firearm must have been sold or left with a dealer while the new owner applies for a licence. If this is not done the firearm will be forfeited to the State. (In the new law, provision is made also for you to possess but not use an inherited firearm if you do not want to apply for a full licence).

4.YOUR LEGAL DUTIES AS THE OWNER OF FIREARM
You are required to exercise great responsibility as the owner or possessor of a firearm and ammunition. If you fail in any of the following duties, you commit an offence.
· Whenever you are physically in possession of a firearm or ammunition, you must have your licence with you.

· You must produce your licence or your firearm if a police officer; or another designated officer; asks you to.
· You can carry a firearm in public if you possess a Category 2 or a Category 3A licence. The firearm must not be visible in the holster and you must be able to exercise control over the firearm. This does not apply to State officials and registered security officers who are on duty. You may also carry a firearm in public if, for example, you are taking it to a gunsmith or to the place where you will use it for sport or hunting. In such cases it must be out of sight in a carry bag.
· You may not handle a firearm while you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, nor may you hand over possession of your firearm to someone who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
· if you are employed in the SANDF or as a law enforcement officer and you use a State firearm, you may not carry it when you are off-duty unless your commandin9 officer authorises this.

if you break any of these rules you will be committing an offence, and may be declared unfit to possess a firearm.

DECLARING A PERSON UNFIT TO OWN A FIREARM
Anyone who thinks that another person is not fit to be in possession of a firearm, can make an application to have that person declared unfit. An enquiry will be held. Anyone who is declared unfit to possess a firearm has to dispose of the firearm through a dealer within 60 days. if this is not done the firearm is forfeited to the State.

You can be declared unfit to possess a firearm if you are found guilty of any of the offences in Table 4 or if:
· you lose your firearm through negligence;
· you have not taken the necessary steps for the safekeeping of any firearm;
· you threaten to kill or injure yourself or another person by any means;
· you are not in a fit mental condition to possess a firearm;
· you are inclined to violence;
· you are dependent on or abuse drugs or alcohol;
· you have ever provided misleading or false information relating to the law on firearms;
· you are found guilty of any offence relating to the possession of firearms;
· you, for any other reason, are considered not to be a fit and proper person to possess a firearm.

If you have been declared unfit to possess a firearm you will not be able to apply to have this declaration set aside for five years.

6.THE TRANSFER OF FIREARMS
There will be new policies to control the movement of firearms through dealers,
manufacturers, gunsmiths, brokers and imports and exports.

DEALERS

Firearm dealers must handle all firearm and ammunition sales and transfers. No transactions, such as buying, selling, trading or donating of firearms, will be allowed unless this is done through a registered arms dealer.

There will be a centralised dealer-database at the Central Firearms Register and dealers must have computer programmes and a computer workstation that can connect to the main Central Firearms Register database. Information about the stock at any firearm dealer must be updated on a 48 - hour basis and any transactions of firearms or ammunition by the dealer must be recorded at the time of the deal.

This will not apply to dealers in areas without electricity and phones, but they will still be required to report and keep records.

Firearm dealers must be registered and their licence to deal must be renewed every year.

MANUFACTURERS
There will be regulations about how manufacturers must mark and number the firearms that they produce. Manufacturers must also have a database on which they enter all transactions.

Manufacturers must renew their manufacturer's licence each year.

GUNSMITHS
Gunsmiths must be registered by the Central Firearms Register. They will have to complete a gunsmith artisan's test at an accredited institution before they can be registered. Gunsmiths are only allowed to work on legal firearms and they must keep a register of the work they do and the stock they keep.

BROKERS
There is evidence that arms brokers and shipping agents are involved in transferring quantities of arms and ammunition to areas in Africa and elsewhere, where there is severe human conflict and human rights abuse. The control of their activities in South Africa alone is not adequate and new policies will be brought in to improve controls. These policies will apply to:
· any South African citizen, wherever located;
· any person who has permanent residence in South Africa;
· any organisation registered or incorporated in South Africa.

EXPORTING AND IMPORTING
Any person wishing to import or export firearms must obtain a permit to do so from the Registrar. All import and export of firearms, by either individuals or dealers, must be recorded in one centralised computer system at the Central Firearms Register.

7.THE POWERS OF THE SAPS
Members of the SAPS will have the authority to ask for information under certain circumstances and to seize firearms and ammunition. They will also have the power to enter premises and search for firearms, ammunition or licences. A member of the SAPS who suspects that a person has, or recently had, possession of a firearm or ammunition, may ask that person to supply certain information.

Members of the SAPS can seize a firearm or ammunition if they suspect that:
· someone is not a fit or proper person to possess the firearm or ammunition;
· a firearm is unlicensed or the licence has been cancelled or suspended;
· an offence has been committed, or is about to be committed, with respect to a firearm or ammunition;
· the possession of a firearm may result in danger to life or property
· a person has possession of a firearm or ammunition, against the orders of a court;
· the owner is subject to a restraining order under the Domestic Violence Act;
· a firearm is mechanically unsafe;
· a firearm is a prohibited firearm;
· a firearm has been converted to automatic after approval of the licence to possess that firearm
· a person who has possession of that firearm is apparently under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Any member of the SAPS who seizes firearms, licences or ammunition is responsible until they are handed over for safekeeping at a police station.

8.FORFEITING FIREARMS
Under the new firearm control policy firearms that are forfeited to the State will normally be destroyed so that they do not go back into circulation. Legal firearms surrendered will also be destroyed.

9.PENALTIES
The new policy will increase the penalties for offences.

Those who deal in any way with illegal firearms will be penalised even more heavily than those charged with possession.

Harsh sentences will be given to those who:
· supply a firearm to a person who is under age;
· supply a firearm to someone so they can commit a crime;
· deal in firearms which are unlicensed or unregistered or both;
· deal in lawfully owned firearms without being registered as a dealer.

10.FIREARM FREE AREAS
Some places in the country will be declared firearm free areas. No firearms will be allowed in these places. This will help make the public more aware of the issue and will also make policing easier.

The following places have been recommended as firearm free areas:
· schools;
· hospitals and clinics;
· churches and other formal places of worship;
· places of public entertainment;
· government offices;
· bars, shebeens and other places where alcohol is sold for consumption on the premises.

IMPLEMENTING THIS POLICY
A FIREARMS CONTROL ACT
There will be a new law, which will set out the details of much of this policy.

THE CENTRAL FIREARMS REGISTER
The National Commissioner of the SAPS will be the Registrar of the Central Firearms Register. The Central Firearms Register is being restructured so that it will be able to carry out a number of new functions efficiently. It will be responsible for keeping a Register of all legal firearms in the country. Where firearms are owned privately, the register must include information about the owner; a photograph, the type of firearm, its model and serial number and the details of the licence and any previous owners.

All firearms owned by the State must be registered, and the Central Firearms Register must keep details of the department responsible for the firearm, the type of firearm, model and serial number. Any movement or sale of the firearm must be reported to the Central Firearms Register.

THERE WILL BE AN AUDIT OF ALL FIREARMS AND LICENCES WILL BE RE-ISSUED
Firearms are currently licensed through a number of different authorities. For instance, some licences were issued by the so-called independent homelands and by the former South West Africa. The Central Firearms Register will be responsible for doing an audit of all existing firearms that are currently licensed and for re-issuing licences in a new format. This will be done to make it easier to control firearms by having one uniform licensing system.

When the Central Firearms Register is ready to begin its audit, members of the public will be informed of the details of the re-issuing process. All current licence holders will be affected. This process will take at least three years to complete.

There will be an amnesty period, where anyone with an unlicensed firearm will be allowed to apply for a licence. Stolen or prohibited firearms will not be licensed and anyone wishing to hand in a legal or an illegal firearm will be allowed to do so.

Anyone who does not do this within the period that is allowed and is then found to be in possession of an unaudited firearm will be declared unfit for possession for life, and their firearms will be forfeited to the State.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR SPECIFIC USERS
OCCASIONAL HUNTERS OR RECREATIONAL SPORTS SHOOTERS
Category 3B firearms are for occasional hunters or recreational sports shooters.

PERIOD OF LICENCE

Licences for these firearms will be valid for ten years if they are not handguns in which case the renewal period will be 5 years.

NUMBER OF FIREARMS

No person may license more than four firearms in this category. Only two of these may be handguns.

DEDICATED HUNTERS
Dedicated hunters are people who hunt frequently. They must belong to a National Hunting Association that is accredited by the Registrar. They may also be full-time employees of a recognised Wildlife Conservation Authority Category 3C firearms are for dedicated hunters.


PERIOD OF LICENCE

The licence is valid for ten years. It will only be valid for this full period if the person continues to be a dedicated hunter.

NUMBER OF FIREARMS

A dedicated hunter will be allowed to possess the number of firearms that he or she can motivate the need for.

PROCESS OF APPLYI NG FOR A LICENCE

Dedicated hunters must go through the same process of applying for a licence that has already been described in the general section of this document. In addition, a dedicated hunter will have to provide a statement, which confirms that he or she is a member of an
accredited Hunting Association.

UNDER WHAT CONDITIONS CAN A HUNTER POSSESS A LICENCE?
A dedicated hunter must:
· comply with the rules of the accredited National Association;
· only use the firearm in the course of his or her occupation;
· only carry shotguns and rifles in public if they are being transported between the owner's residence and a shooting range, hunting ground, dealer or gunsmith;
· provide a yearly record of his or her hunting activities to the accredited National Association.

No Category 1 firearms will be licensed even if they are recognised by hunting associations.

AMMUNITION

Dedicated hunters may be given permission by the Registrar to buy and carry more than the prescribed quantity of ammunition.

THE DUTIES OF THE HUNTING ASSOCIATION

Hunting Association has to keep a register of all the hunting activities of its members
and it must provide the Registrar with:
· a list of all its active members and their hunting histories;
· a list of all past members;
· a list of all members against whom disciplinary action has been taken.

The Registrar will give those hunters who no longer qualify as dedicated hunters, 60 days written notice to submit reasons why their Category 3C licences should not be removed.

SPORTS SHOOTERS
The sportsmen and women who qualify under this category are people who take part in an internationally recognised shooting sport discipline. They will be granted a Category 3D Firearm.

PERIOD OF LICENCE

The licence is valid for 1 0 years. it will only be valid if the person remains a dedicated sports shooter.

NUMBER OF FIREARMS
A dedicated sports shooter will be allowed to possess the number of firearms which he or she can successfully motivate as needed for participation in the shooting sport disciplines for which he or she is registered.

PROCESS OF APPLYING FOR A LICENCE
This will be the same as described in the general section.

UNDER WHAT CONDITIONS CAN A SPORTS SHOOTER USE FIREARMS?
A dedicated sports shooter must:
· only use the firearm in the course of his or her sport;
· only carry shotguns and rifles in public if they are being transported between the owners residence and a shooting range, hunting ground, dealer or gunsmith.

No Category 1 firearms will be licensed even if they are recognised by sports associations.

AMMUNITION
Dedicated sports shooters may be given permission by the Registrar to buy and carry more than the prescribed quantity of ammunition.

THE DUTIES OF THE ACCREDITED SPORTS ASSOCIATION
The Association has to keep a register of all the activities of its members and it must
provide the Registrar with:
· a list of all its active members and their shooting history
· a list of all past members;
· a list of all members against whom disciplinary action has been taken.

The Registrar will give those people who no longer qualify as dedicated sports shooters, 60 days written notice to submit reasons why their Category 3D licences should not be removed.

COLLECTORS
Collectors of firearms may be either private or public collectors.

They will be granted a Category 4 Firearm licence that authorises them to possess a firearm for the purpose of participating in the collecting of firearms. They may possess Category 1 and 2 firearms under certain circumstances.

PERIOD OF LICENCE

The licence is valid for 10 years. It will only be valid if the person remains a dedicated collector.

NUMBER OF FIREARMS
A dedicated collector will be allowed to possess the number of firearms determined by his or her collection.

PROCESS OF APPLYING FOR A LICENCE

This will be the same as described in the general section.

Registered ammunition collectors may only possess a maximum 0f 200 rounds per calibre, unless otherwise authorised by the Registrar.

THE DUTIES OF THE ACCREDITORS COLLECTORS ASSOCIATION

The Association has to keep a register of all the activities of its members and it must
provide the Registrar with:
· a list of all its active members and their collecting history;
· a list of all past members;
· a list of all members against whom disciplinary action has been taken.

The Registrar will give those people who no longer qualify as collectors, 60 days written notice to submit reasons why their Category 4 licences should not be removed.

This category of licence covers businesses that use firearms as a tool for their trade. It includes security companies, firearm training institutions and game conservation or safari companies. These require a Category S licence. This is a licence to own a number of firearms. Each firearm itself is also registered. The business must keep a register of all firearms transferred from one office to another and all those held in each office.

PERIOD OF LICENCE

The licence of the business Is valid for two years with six monthly inspections during this period. Firearms belonging to the business will be licensed for this period only.

WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS
Security officers will only be allowed to possess and use firearms if:
· they are registered with the Security Officers Board and have received a competency certificate;
· they have obtained a competency certificate to handle the specific firearm used by the officer.

Only registered security officials from registered companies will be allowed to carry shotguns in public while they are on duty.

SAFEKEEPING OF FIREARMS
All business concerns should have a prescribed safe and those owning more than ten
firearms should have at least a Category II safe according to SABS specifications.If a business stops operating, the firearms must be kept in safe custody, in a Category II safe, until they are resold or taken into possession by the liquidator.

STATE-OWNED FIREARM
The following steps will be taken to control and manage firearms owned by the State, whether by national, provincial or local governments or parastatals:

· All firearms in any State Department will be registered in a central database at the Central Firearms Register. Any transfers and transactions of state firearms within the borders of South Africa must also be registered.

· Any losses must be reported to the Central Firearms Register and the local police station immediately.

· All firearms in possession of the State should have a standard proofing mark on both the barrel and the frame or receiver.

· State Departments should not be allowed to transfer ownership of firearms in their possession to private individuals or institutions within South Africa.

· Surplus or outdated firearms in possession of the State, local authorities and parastatals must be destroyed unless they are given to a State museum.

· There will be a compulsory physical stocktaking by all' State Departments, provincial and local governments, and a verification of the correctness of the data.

THE DUTIES OF ALL GOVERNMENT AGE NC ES AND EMPLOYERS THAT MANAGE FIREARMS

· Every government agency should issue an employee with a permit authorising the possession of the firearm, and indicating the restrictions and conditions of possession. For example, the permit should say whether the employee is entitled to possess the firearm after working hours.

· Every government agency should have a register which contains the particulars of every firearm as well as the particulars of the employee authorised to possess that firearm. The head of every government agency, or a delegated person, should be responsible for this.

THE DUTIES OF ALL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES POSSESSING FIREARMS

Government employees must manage firearms in a responsible manner as is expected of any member of the public with a licence.
· State employees using authorised state firearms must have their permits with them when they are in possession of the firearm.
· An employee to whom a state firearm has been issued, must obey all the regulations and requirements for legal possession of a firearm. For example, they must have successfully completed a practical training course in the safe handling of a firearm.
· Unless otherwise authorised in writing, an employee should return the firearm to the employer's store of firearms at the end of each period of duty. Employees can be prosecuted if they fail to do this.
· The employee must carry the firearm in a holster or similar holder.
· If the employee has permission to possess a State firearm when not on duty, the employee must carry the firearm on his or her person when it is being transported between work and home. The employee must store it in a safe place and not carry it when not on duty, or use it for any other purpose.

CARRYING OF FIREARMS BY SAPS MEMBERS OFF-DUTY
Members of the SAPS who carry firearms, are a target for criminals who wish to obtain their firearms. Of the 236 SAPS members murdered during 1 998,1 44 were killed off-duty. The largest number of these were kilIed during incidents mainly in bars or shebeens. The second largest number were killed specifically in order to steal their service firearm.

In view of this, there will be much stricter controls on police members carrying their firearm off-duty.

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