SAPS study ruling declaring parts of firearms act unconstitutional

Parliament has been given 18 months to amend the legislation to ensure constitutional compliance.

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PRETORIA - Police say they're still studying a High Court judgment which declared parts of the Firearms Control Act unconstitutional before deciding whether to appeal the ruling or comply with its interim recommendations.

The High Court in Pretoria ruled in favour of the Hunters and Game Conservation Association.

Parliament has been given 18 months to amend the legislation to ensure constitutional compliance.

The High Court found the sections related to firearm license renewal unconstitutional; if a person failed to reapply more than 90 days from the date of expiry, they would be deemed to be in unlawful possession of a firearm.

The section in question also offered no remedy to the late application, which compelled gun owners to hand in their weapons to the police.

The court has ordered that until Parliament has addressed the defect, all licenses due to be renewed shall be deemed to be valid.

The police say in the meantime it will keep all the firearms surrendered by people who failed to renew their licenses in the prescribed time.