People in possession of estate firearms who have not yet made any effort to license these weapons in terms of Act 60/2000, now have the opportunity to get such firearms legally licensed in terms of the Firearms Control Act.
A local firearm dealership referred to the amnesty period being announced to run from 1 April to 30 September and will focus specifically on firearms from estates which were not licensed or disposed of in terms of the new Act.
Marius du Preez of the Legally Armed Group in Polokwane said people are not to be afraid of prosecution. “This is exactly what amnesty means – to be exempted from prosecution. If you have any estate firearms in your possession and the firearm does not appear on the South African Police Service (Saps) firearms system, you will be able to hand in the firearm and also be allowed to apply for the licensing of the weapon during this time, of course within the scope allowed under the amnesty,” Du Preez said.
General amnesty exempts you from prosecution if you participate in the process out of your own free will and hand in estate firearms in order to license it, have it deactivated or destroyed.
“With the implementation of the Firearms Control Act, Act 60/2000, the responsibility of estate firearms were placed squarely on the shoulders of executors. People should use this amnesty and not keep quiet or hide estate firearms, or even worse, try and dispose of such firearms by destroying it or throwing it away down old boreholes or mine shafts. It is also important to remember that licences for air rifles which used to be licensed in the name of a person, should be applied for cancellation as it is no longer required to have the .177 air rifles licensed. If you however do not apply for the cancellation of the licence, it will appear on the deceased’s name and the Police will then have to follow up and look for the specific firearm. It is important that the original signature of the executor appears on all relevant documents pertaining to firearms from the estate. All documents must be accompanied by five source documents, identity document (ID) of the deceased, firearm licences, death certificate, executor’s appointment letter and ID of the executor. The amnesty however now allows for these firearms to be disposed of even if all the source documents are not present, a statement by the executor could now for instance be used to replace certain source documents and therefore have the firearms disposed of.”
The amnesty period could be used to dispose of these firearms without any source documents, as long as the people in possession of these firearms participate in the process of their own free will. The amnesty period, however, does not address licences which expired before the licence holders could apply for the renewal of these licences, according to Du Preez.
Du Preez called on all people in possession of estate firearms who have not done anything to start licensing these firearms in terms of Act 60/2000, as well as all executors, attorneys and estate administrators to contact his office for assistance with these firearms in order to ensure that these firearms are disposed of accordingly and for assistance with the whole process.
Story: RC Myburgh