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Thread: Updates only - Time to get our house in order and fix the big bore licensing issue!

  1. #1
    Prof. Jan Itor

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    Default Updates only - Time to get our house in order and fix the big bore licensing issue!

    Background:

    The FCA of 2000 as amended to 2015 contains less than clear language with regards to airguns, most of it was conceived with 19th and 20th century technology in mind. Everybody from airgunners to dealers, lawyers to the CFR themselves are tripped up by it.

    If not in law then certainly as a matter of idealism, the government, the general public and to a large extent the management of the CFR are anti or at the very least antagonistic toward private gun ownership in South Africa. SAPS and the CFR have been taken to court numerous times for trying implement anti gun owner rules or laws that don't exist. What follows below does at all times take this reality into account and therefore tries to be realistic in what can be achieved in such a climate.

    It's time to get our house in order before someone who does not have our best interests in mind does it for us.

    The Issues:
    The 5.5mm/.22 calibre confusion must be fixed. The law says "5.6mm/.22", the vast majority of airgun manufacturers stamp .22 on 5.5mm calibre airguns putting owners of same on dangerous ground. This is marketing nonsense and must be rectified.
    5.6mm/.22 is not a big bore airgun calibre.
    The FCA does not define a big bore airgun at all making it very difficult to licence same.
    Most DFOs trip up on Chapter 3, Section 5.
    The DFOs have very little knowledge of the law they are supposed to be administering.
    The CFR does not have a formal mechanism to licence big bore airguns as they do for powder burners.
    The CFR has only one big bore airgun calibre in its database.
    The muzzle energy provisions in the FCA are antiquated and have almost zero relevance to modern airguns.
    SAPS will never have a practical method for testing muzzle energy at Customs, DFO or Patrol level.

    Proposed Solutions:
    Amend the law so that big bore airguns are properly defined in the FCA.
    Amend the law so that the mooted big bore airgun definition is listed in Chapter 6.
    Amend the law so that the base big bore airgun calibre starts at .243/6.17mm (a firearm calibre that SAPS understands well) thereby also removing the .22 problem.
    Update the CFR database to include all the common modern big bore airgun calibres.
    Remove the muzzle energy provisions from the FCA.

    Anything to declare?:
    In April of this year in a private capacity I submitted to the Office of the Chief State Law Adviser (the guys that actually draft our legislation and amendments thereto into law) and SAPS proposals based on the above solutions. The OCSLA was at least receptive and did engage in some dialog with me. SAPS was silent but I was told that it was in the hands of an unnamed Brigadier.

    The Road Ahead:
    Recently a new CHASA ( CHASA - Home ) affiliate was formed, SA Veld / Field Sports ( S A Veld / Field Sport | Home of South African Field Sport ). One of SA Field Sports' aims is to host formal big bore airgun benchrest competitions for licensed owners of same (all 5 of them ), recognizing that should they pull it off, they would be the ideal vehicle for big bore airgun licence applicants to apply via the dedicated sportsman channel, I engaged with their vice chairman, Philip Viljoen and presented to him the proposals embedded below (which now includes some of his suggestions). The upshot is that on Thursday, 5 October these proposals will be tabled at their EXCO meeting. Should the proposals find favour with them then CHASA will via their seat on the parliamentary CFR committee, table same and motivate for changes to the law iro of airguns.

    Vox populi - TL;DR:
    Current airgun laws are old and stupid, let's hear your ideas on what and how they can be fixed.
    I did send email to this effect to the main airgun sports shooting bodies a few days ago. Crickets.


    Proposed amendments to the FCA

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  2. #2
    Prof. Jan Itor

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    Quote Originally Posted by Avatar View Post
    One for the law of unintended consequences perhaps?

    How many of our dedicated airgun dealers are also registered firearms dealers; if the LCA path becomes law then surely they would have to be so in order to sell LCAs?
    I have no knowledge of how many are registered firearms dealers. Fact of the matter is, despite being poorly defined in the FCA anything over 5.6mm/.22 and shooting over 8J is defined as a firearm. Thus, in terms of Chapter 7 of the FCA, they in any event would need to be registered firearms dealers to sell "LCAs" in terms of the current law.

    "firearm"
    means any
    d) device manufactured to discharge a bullet or any other projectile of a calibre of 5.6mm (.22 calibre) or higher at a muzzle energy of more than 8 joules (6 ft-lbs), by means of compressed gas and not by means of burning propellant; or
    (1) No person may trade in any firearm, muzzle loading firearm or ammunition without a dealer's licence.
    (2) Subject to subsection (3), a person who is not a dealer may dispose of a firearm, muzzle loading firearm or ammunition only through a dealer or as otherwise provided for in this Act.
    If they are not registered and are selling LCAs without a licence, then even a junior prosecutor could make that case.

    P.S. I would be pleased if we could keep discussion to 800 grit coarseness..
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  3. #3
    Prof. Jan Itor

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    Progress report:
    SA Field Sports EXCO agreed to present the proposals to the CEO of CHASA.

    If the CEO of CHASA finds the proposals agreeable they will present it at their next meeting with the CFR. No date for that yet.

    The EXCO has agreed that SA Field Sport would issue an Endorsement for Sport Shooting to all its members who want to apply for a LCA licence.

    SA Field Sports have committed to staging LCA Benchrest events/competitions. The first formal event will be held at the Waterval Shooting Range Rustenburg on the 25th August 2018. A proper event thread for this will be posted in due course.

    Recommendation:
    Considering the above, it is my strong recommendation for would be and current LCA owners to join SA Field Sports without delay.
    SA Field Sports website: S A Veld / Field Sport | Home of South African Field Sport

    Declaration:
    I am not a member of either CHASA or SA Field Sport. I have zero financial interest in either organization. My recommendation is based purely on my opinion that CHASA and SA Field Sports are the organizations that will put legitimate LCA sports on the map in ZA.

    Acknowledgment:
    My thanks to Philip Viljoen for sharing his time, energy and knowledge with me.
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  4. #4
    Sharp Shooter

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    Default CFR Calibre codes for air rifles

    Many thanks to FrankH from Gunsite - I have pulled the following useful details from the complete list that he published here:


    Link to SAPS calibre list 08.2017



    Calibre Code Calibre Description Firearm Type
    2961 AIR/WIND (.25(6.35MM)) PISTOL
    2962 AIR/WIND (11.6MM(.45)) PISTOL
    2963 AIR/WIND (12.7MM(.50)) PISTOL
    3031 AIR/WIND (4.5MM(.177)) PISTOL
    2960 AIR/WIND (5.6MM(.22)) PISTOL
    2964 AIR/WIND (9MM(.357)) PISTOL
    3034 GAS (6MM) PISTOL
    3035 GAS (8MM) PISTOL
    2966 AIR/WIND (.25(6.35MM)) REVOLVER
    2967 AIR/WIND (11.6MM(.45)) REVOLVER
    2968 AIR/WIND (12.7MM(.50)) REVOLVER
    2965 AIR/WIND (5.6MM(.22)) REVOLVER
    2969 AIR/WIND (9MM(.357)) REVOLVER
    2499 AIR/WIND (.25(6.35MM)) RIFLE
    2504 AIR/WIND (11.6MM(.45)) RIFLE
    2502 AIR/WIND (12.7MM(.50)) RIFLE
    3032 AIR/WIND (4.5MM(.177)) RIFLE
    2959 AIR/WIND (5.6MM(.22)) RIFLE
    2503 AIR/WIND (9MM(.357)) RIFLE
    820 .410 AIR POWERED SHOTGUN
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  5. #5
    Prof. Jan Itor

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    The word I have is that SA Field / Veld Sports has officially setup a LCA channel for sports shooting endorsements with SAPS.

    The hunting endorsements should be setup in 2018 or 2019 at the latest.
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  6. #6
    Prof. Jan Itor

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    I have been remiss in not updating this topic, so:

    The CHASA Exco met in February and the proposed legislation changes as posted above were tabled for their consideration. They agreed that they will drive the proposals but that it would be a medium to long term project due to more urgent (well known) issues regarding the CFR needing to be addressed first.

    Some specifics:
    • 14 of the 23 CHASA representatives were in agreement with the proposal that the licence free calibre limit should be raised to .243/6.17mm.
    • 21 of the 23 CHASA representatives were in agreement with the proposal to get rid of the FPE provisions and to make calibre the sole arbiter of when an airgun becomes a firearm.
    • Loading the calibres into the CFR database does not require any changes to legislation and CHASA undertook to get these loaded via their direct (CFR committee) contact.
    • CHASA undertook to discuss the streamlining of LCA licence applications with the CFR at the next meeting of the two parties.


    The CHASA Exco had another meeting this past weekend and there is some feedback from what I assume is the result of their meeting with the CFR. The following are some of the important points:

    • It was stressed by both the CHASA CEO as well as MJ Hood & Associates, the CHASA legal advisor that;
    • Do not buy any airgun .25 cal or larger from any seller that is not a registered Firearms Dealer and who does not have that weapon on SAPS Records yet.
    • Arrow Guns need to be licensed. The same as all .25 cal and upwards airguns.
    • There are no court cases held after the year 2000 with regards to the legality of .177 .20 .22 (5.5mm) so do not poke the hornet's nest. (This is a moot point, neither the current legislation nor the proposed changes, place any restriction on ownership of this class of airguns in any event)
    • The single biggest issue with regards to licensing of LCAs to date has been that same have not been loaded into the CFR system by the dealers. Most likely because most of the airgun dealers are not registered firearms dealers....
    • Being caught in possession of an unlicensed firearm/LCA is to risk losing your future rights to own any kind of firearm, the confiscation of all your firearms, licenced or not as well as possible fines and jail time.


    That CHASA took the time to consider a project that does not immediately affect their core demographic, especially at a time when there are huge issues facing the firearms community in general, is commendable and shows them to be an organization that cares about all shooters no matter how fringe. They have my gratitude and admiration for that.
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  7. #7
    Prof. Jan Itor

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    As the FCA stands almost all Air Rifles with the exception of the Olympic 10m Air Rifles needs to be licensed, or if you have an .177 Air Rifle you are in possession of an illegal rifle. Everybody goes on about the caliber, that is one side but most rifles does not comply to the energy levels.
    That right there is why I am trying to get the law language changed. Failure to read, failure to comprehend, confusion. There is an OR not an and in the FCA airgun definition. The essence of that means I can legally own without a licence, a pneumatic 105mm howitzer if it's incapable of launching the ammo at more than 8 joules /6 FPE muzzle energy.

    The proposed changes, if enacted as envisaged will have zero impact on the currently constituted formal airgun sport codes. The aim of the proposed changes is to make it easier to licence big bore airguns as is required by the FCA but rendered almost mission impossible by a blundering CFR/DFO system. The proposed amendment does not fundamentally change the current Chapter 3, Section 5 status of airguns below 5.6mm in calibre which is the class all of the sportings codes you mentioned shoot.

    I tried to engage with the organizations you mentioned (with the exception of SASSCOC) in 2015 and again in 2016/17, to date only one even bothered to acknowledge receipt of communication. If it's the official position of some of those organizations that only 6 FPE / 10m airguns are legal in terms of the FCA then you will forgive me for not trying any harder to engage with such blatant ignorance, from officialdom no less.
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  8. #8
    Prof. Jan Itor

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    If by "attack" you mean engaging with organizations like the CFR, the Justice Dept, the Chief State Law Adviser, CHASA and lately SAAADA to try get the law changed/clarified to make owning a big bore airgun legally possible, then yes, guilty as charged. This has been in process for well over two years now and this specific thread for exactly a year. What did you do? Where have you been during this time?



    About time you guys got your shit together. Good luck, you going to need it when dealing with a government that is anti private firearm ownership.



    For "own intentions": I have absolutely zero financial interest in any airgun related business, there is zero percentage in this for me other than the wellbeing of the airgun community as a whole. Read the first paragraph in this post again for clarity.

    For the record, I care not a jot how or by whom it is achieved, either by complete deregulation or refinement of existing laws, so long as the end result is; any airgunner can unambiguously and legally own any airgun they desire.

    In the mire of institutional apathy, I chose a path I thought had the best chance of success. Choose yours wisely and good luck.
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  9. #9
    Prof. Jan Itor

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    Latest CFR calibre codes for Air/Gas guns as supplied Lt Colonel Wepener this morning.

    Calibre code Calibre description Firearm type
    820 .410 AIR POWERED SHOTGUN
    2499 AIR/WIND (.25(6.35MM)) RIFLE
    2502 AIR/WIND (12.7MM(.50)) RIFLE
    2503 AIR/WIND (9MM(.357)) RIFLE
    2504 AIR/WIND (11.6MM(.45)) RIFLE
    2959 AIR/WIND (5.6MM(.22)) RIFLE
    2960 AIR/WIND (5.6MM(.22)) PISTOL
    2961 AIR/WIND (.25(6.35MM)) PISTOL
    2962 AIR/WIND (11.6MM(.45)) PISTOL
    2963 AIR/WIND (12.7MM(.50)) PISTOL
    2964 AIR/WIND (9MM(.357)) PISTOL
    2965 AIR/WIND (5.6MM(.22)) REVOLVER
    2966 AIR/WIND (.25(6.35MM)) REVOLVER
    2967 AIR/WIND (11.6MM(.45)) REVOLVER
    2968 AIR/WIND (12.7MM(.50)) REVOLVER
    2969 AIR/WIND (9MM(.357)) REVOLVER
    3031 AIR/WIND (4.5MM(.177)) PISTOL
    3032 AIR/WIND (4.5MM(.177)) RIFLE
    3145 BARREL (AIR/WIND - .30) MAIN FIREARM COMPONENT
    3177 AIR/WIND (.22(5.5MM)) RIFLE
    3228 AIR/WIND (.303 (7.7MM)) RIFLE
    3242 AIR/WIND (.457) RIFLE
    3249 AIR/WIND (.45) RIFLE
    3268 AIR/WIND (5.5MM) RIFLE
    3302 AIR/WIND (5.5MM (.22)) REVOLVER
    3303 AIR/WIND (5.5MM (.22)) PISTOL
    2499 AIR/WIND (.25(6.35MM)) RIFLE
    2502 AIR/WIND (12.7MM(.50)) RIFLE
    2503 AIR/WIND (9MM(.357)) RIFLE
    2504 AIR/WIND (11.6MM(.45)) RIFLE
    2959 AIR/WIND (5.6MM(.22)) RIFLE
    2960 AIR/WIND (5.6MM(.22)) PISTOL
    2961 AIR/WIND (.25(6.35MM)) PISTOL
    2962 AIR/WIND (11.6MM(.45)) PISTOL
    2963 AIR/WIND (12.7MM(.50)) PISTOL
    2964 AIR/WIND (9MM(.357)) PISTOL
    2965 AIR/WIND (5.6MM(.22)) REVOLVER
    2966 AIR/WIND (.25(6.35MM)) REVOLVER
    2967 AIR/WIND (11.6MM(.45)) REVOLVER
    2968 AIR/WIND (12.7MM(.50)) REVOLVER
    2969 AIR/WIND (9MM(.357)) REVOLVER
    3031 AIR/WIND (4.5MM(.177)) PISTOL
    3032 AIR/WIND (4.5MM(.177)) RIFLE
    3145 BARREL (AIR/WIND - .30) MAIN FIREARM COMPONENT
    3177 AIR/WIND (.22(5.5MM)) RIFLE
    3228 AIR/WIND (.303 (7.7MM)) RIFLE
    3242 AIR/WIND (.457) RIFLE
    3249 AIR/WIND (.45) RIFLE
    3268 AIR/WIND (5.5MM) RIFLE
    3302 AIR/WIND (5.5MM (.22)) REVOLVER
    3303 AIR/WIND (5.5MM (.22)) PISTOL
    286 38MM SHOT/GAS RIFLE RIFLE
    1922 38MM SHOT/GAS PISTOL PISTOL
    2973 6MM GAS PISTOL
    2974 8MM GAS PISTOL
    2975 6MM GAS REVOLVER
    2976 8MM GAS REVOLVER
    3260 9MM P.A.K (GAS) PISTOL
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