Gun licences - most applicants denied

2011-02-16 19:06

Johannesburg - Gun licence applications are being refused despite applicants being in compliance with all requirements, the Gun Owners of SA (GOSA) said on Wednesday.

"Fifty percent of gun licence applications are being refused... applications for competency are being refused where applicants are fully in compliance with all proficiencies as prescribed by law and have no disqualifying criminal records!" said spokesperson Brett Nortje.

Nortje says the Firearms Register had shifted the burden of licensing firearms onto the Firearms Appeal Board as it was "an easy way to wipe out the Register's backlogs of up to six years".

He called this the "hugely expensive option" as applicants who were refused needed to seek legal advice and ask the courts to intervene.

"The Registrar inevitably settles such cases just before the hearing and pays the costs."

Nortje referred to police minister Nathi Mthethwa's admission late last year that the implementation of the Firearms Control Act (FCA) was a "disaster".

The act requires people who apply for firearm licences to undergo a competency test.

"The minister told the National Press Club at the Sheraton Hotel that he needed nine months to turn around the Central Firearms Register."

He said the minister had not disclosed a turn-around plan or how much the implementation of the FCA cost.

"Implementation of the FCA is a billion rand black hole," said Nortje.

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