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Thread: My run-in with the new law!

  1. #1
    spitfire's Avatar spitfire
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    Default My run-in with the new law!

    Hi all!
    I recently bought an airgun and was as excited as a child with a new toy! Near to where I live is an open piece of veld streching from Tableview to Blaauwberg hill(about 10km) so I thought this is the ideal place to test my new airgun and sight in the scope.

    I was out in the veld shooting at some tins(with my back to the road). My mistake was to be seen from the road (?60m away) and I was threatened with the police. Without making a scene I left the ?scene of the crime? to go home and phone the police myself to make sure of the new gun law and how it will affect airguns.

    The inspector I spoke to (the gun officer of our local police department) informed me that all the laws as applicable to firearms was applicable to airguns with a calibre of 0.177(4.5mm) except that you do not need a licence ? that an airgun have to be kept in a safe, may not be fired in any municipal area (and deffinetely not in my own back yard) etc.

    He also stated that the only place I am allowed to shoot is at a designated rifle range or on a farm or small holding. Aparently that hole piece of veld is undeveloped municipal ground!

    So, since I don't know anybody close by with a farm or small holding and the existing rifle range have been closed while they build a new one in Atlantis, my airgun is busy gathering dust in my cupboard.

    Do anybody know of any airgun clubs in Cape Town? Or any other ?legal? place to shoot an airgun.

    As far as the safe is concerned, I spoke to 3 airgun dealers and all 3 said as far as they know you do not need a safe for an airgun since it is not a firearm and as long as you do not shoot at people you can pretty much shoot anywhere (even your own backyard) as long as you use your common sense..... sound like they hav'nt read the new law, or will say anything to sell one of their airguns!
    €€€

  2. #2
    kalahari's Avatar kalahari
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    Hi,

    The inspector waswas partly right, partly wrong. I quote from the new firearm act:

    CHAPTER 16 OFFENCES, PENALTIES AND ADMINISTRATIVE FINES (ss 120-122)
    120 Offences
    ??
    (7) It is an offence to discharge a firearm, an antique firearm or an airgun in a built up area or any public place, without good reason to do so.
    (8) A person is guilty of an offence if he or she-
    (a) fails to lock away his or her firearm or a firearm in his or her possession in a prescribed safe, strong-room or device for the safe-keeping when such firearm is not carried on his or her person or is not under his or her direct control; or ...


    I.t.o. (7): where you were shooting, it was definitely not built up. It is open to interpretation whether it was a public place.
    I.t.o. (8): An airgun has been de-classified as a firearm, therefore does NOT need to be locked in a safe (although it wouldn't be a bad idea to do it anyway).

    Happy shooting!
    €€€

  3. #3
    spitfire's Avatar spitfire
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    thanks, thats pretty much as I've summed it up as well (got the new law from the internet and read the whole thing!)

    I think to avoid trouble I should just move deeper into the veld - I mean, if a tree fell over and no one is around to hear or see it, did it really fell?

    But I still don't like to skulk around like a criminal... so I'm still looking for some kind of club to join, as it feel a bit stupid to go (alone) with an airgun to a rifle range
    €€€

  4. #4
    Gerrie's Avatar Gerrie
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    Quote Originally Posted by spitfire
    Hi all!
    I recently bought an airgun and was as excited as a child with a new toy! Near to where I live is an open piece of veld streching from Tableview to Blaauwberg hill(about 10km) so I thought this is the ideal place to test my new airgun and sight in the scope.

    I was out in the veld shooting at some tins(with my back to the road). My mistake was to be seen from the road (?60m away) and I was threatened with the police. Without making a scene I left the ?scene of the crime? to go home and phone the police myself to make sure of the new gun law and how it will affect airguns.

    The inspector I spoke to (the gun officer of our local police department) informed me that all the laws as applicable to firearms was applicable to airguns with a calibre of 0.177(4.5mm) except that you do not need a licence ? that an airgun have to be kept in a safe, may not be fired in any municipal area (and deffinetely not in my own back yard) etc.

    He also stated that the only place I am allowed to shoot is at a designated rifle range or on a farm or small holding. Aparently that hole piece of veld is undeveloped municipal ground!

    So, since I don't know anybody close by with a farm or small holding and the existing rifle range have been closed while they build a new one in Atlantis, my airgun is busy gathering dust in my cupboard.

    Do anybody know of any airgun clubs in Cape Town? Or any other ?legal? place to shoot an airgun.

    As far as the safe is concerned, I spoke to 3 airgun dealers and all 3 said as far as they know you do not need a safe for an airgun since it is not a firearm and as long as you do not shoot at people you can pretty much shoot anywhere (even your own backyard) as long as you use your common sense..... sound like they hav'nt read the new law, or will say anything to sell one of their airguns!
    €€€

  5. #5
    Gerrie's Avatar Gerrie
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    Just shows you, you cant't believe everything everybody tells you. Just because a cop or a sister/doctor mechanic etc said something does not mean it is always true to the last word. I grew up in a house full of cops and you can take my word for it that they don't always know the law so well, they also inteprit it according to their own understanding. The average cop today don't have much of an I.Q. otherwise they would not be cops in this country anymore. Sorry but this is my honest opinion, for what it is worth. I mean look at the gun ,drivers licence self defence laws now. We moved back at least 20 years.
    €€€

  6. #6
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    Gerrie, careful with those statements, you could find yourself in a world of trouble ! It's a matter of opinion and it might not be shared by alot of other people out there.
    I know that most of the cops don't know the law. It's applicable to us therefore we STUDY it to make sure that we know it very well, they cannot memorize every law there is ! If anything bothers you about the law then go and ask at your local police station. Speak to the station commander and ask what you need to know. If you want to go and shoot in the bush then ask him if that would be a problem, if he/she says no and if you do pick up problems then you can refer the cops / public to him/her.
    Technically the bush belongs to either the state or to some member of the public, if state then it's public, shooting in your backyard is OUT, they can lock you up and take all your shooting toys, see forum - we have spoken about this before.

    As for Gunshops telling you that you can shoot in your backyard, tell them to put it on paper ! They say that to complete the sale, none of them will put it on paper And none of them will care when the cops stop at your house ...
    <span class='smallblacktext'>[ Edited Fri Jul 09 2004, 03:41PM ]</span>
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  7. #7
    Gremlore's Avatar Gremlore
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    I have Done some investigating myself and I have come up with this very simple conclusion. Of course this is my opinion. I spoke to a few police ect and I got the same answer. Its ok to shoot in your backyard. so I now found out that it is actually against the law. But I think whats happening here is that Police dont mind you shooting in your backyard. infact they really dont care. But if something does go wrong they do have a law to protect the state and any residents. Because a mistake made by the shooter is unacceptable. therefore the rule is really considered by the police. But its there if something does go wrong. Just so the can use it against people who dont know what they are doing. what do you guys think
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  8. #8
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    I agree and also don't agree. It really depends on the police officer or his mood ! And then there's your neighbours, if they report your shooting activities you will have big problems. If a case is opened against you they have no choice but to enforce the law ! If your neighbours don't have a problem then you shouldn't either. BUT IT'S STILL ILLEGAL
    <span class='smallblacktext'>[ Edited Tue Jul 13 2004, 11:39AM ]</span>
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  9. #9
    Gremlore's Avatar Gremlore
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    I couldnt get it into quite the same nice small paragraph you did neilq. you should write novels. you have a hidden talent
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  10. #10
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    Thanks, I thought so. Maybe I must start a SA Airgunner Magazine...
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