Gun owners get reprieve

2009-06-26 14:24

Pretoria - More than one million South African firearm owners who have not yet re-applied for their licences were given temporary reprieve by the High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

Judge Bill Prinsloo granted an interim interdict to the SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association, declaring that firearm licences obtained under the old Arms and Ammunition Act will be deemed valid for the time being.

The interim order will remain in effect pending the final outcome of the association's application to have certain sections of the new Firearms Control Act declared unconstitutional.

The association contends that Schedule 1 of the new Act, which deals with transitional arrangement, is unreasonable, infringes on the rights of firearm owners and is unconstitutional.

It also maintains that the SA Police Service is unable to cope with the flood of licence applications and firearms being handed in for destruction.

The deadline for either re-applying or handing in firearms was June 30.