Herewith an extract from the proposed amendments to the firearms control act.
For the full proposed amendments in, PDF format, to the act see link below and click on
Firearms Control Amendment Bill, 2006
MEMORANDUM ON THE OBJECTS OF THE
FIREARMS CONTROL AMENDMENT BILL, 2006
1. The object of the Bill is to amend the Firearms Control Act, 2000 (Act No. 60 of
2000), in the following respects:
1.1 To require a person who holds an occasional hunter or occasional sports-shooting
licence to belong to an accredited hunting or sports-shooting organisation or association.
1.2 To extend the validity period of the following licences:
Alicence to possess a firearm for business purposes: Business as game rancher and
in hunting from five to ten years;
A licence to possess a firearm for business purposes: Business other than as game
rancher and in hunting from two to five years;
Dealers’, manufacturers’ and gunsmiths’ licences from one year to five years.
1.3 An amendment is proposed to solve the problem experienced by prosecutors with
the issuing of admission of guilt fines in respect of minor cases of assault and other
offences mentioned in the Act as affecting a licenced firearm owner’s fitness to possess
a firearm. The Bill proposes that where such an admission of guilt fine has been
determined, the payment thereof will not automatically affect the person’s fitness to
possess a firearm. The present wording of the Act largely inhibited the determining of
admission of guilt fines by prosecutors and thereby increased the workload of courts.
The proposed wording has been drafted in liaison with the prosecution authorities. The
Registrar will, however, still have the power to enquire into the person’s fitness to
possess the firearm, which process will entail a fair administrative procedure.
1.4 To provide that all restricted and prohibited firearms in possession of collectors
must be made inoperable so that they would be unable to fire cartridges and would only
be able to fire blank ammunition.
1.5 The Bill proposes that muzzle loading firearms be exempted from licencing, but
makes the requirement of a competency certificate applicable to muzzle loading
firearms, as well as all measures relating to unfitness to possess them and import,
manufacturing and export thereof. They may also only be sold by dealers. There is a
transitional arrangement in the Bill for obtaining a competency certificate. Permits to
buy black powder for use in muzzle loading firearms may also not be issued to persons
not in possession of a competency certificate.
1.6 To remove the restriction on the number of shots that a semi-automatic shotgun
may fire in succession in respect of a dedicated hunter and sport person. An amendment
to the effect that ‘‘a shotgun manufactured to fire no more than five shots in succession
without having to be reloaded’’, can be licenced to a dedicated hunter or dedicated sports
person, as the present limitation is inhibiting South African sports persons to compete
internationally. The five shot limitation does in any case not apply to shotguns, which are
licenced in terms of other provisions of the Act.