It's been a roller coaster couple of years for firearm owners in SA with the implementation of the new Firearms Control Act (FCA), the whole green card validity challenge and more recently the white card expiry challenges. Make no mistake, private firearm ownership in South Africa is under threat.
We live in a country where firearm ownership is a privelage and not a right. With rising crime rates and decreasing service levels by an over burdened SAPS, thousands of South Africans have looked to personal firearms for self defence. Training schools are running brisk business with not just basic competency courses, but with advanced defensive programs too. Sports shooting is on the rise with sports like IDPA and ISPC taking the lead. The industry and need is booming - but the legislation is lagging behind the demand - what's more, it seems that the enforcement of the FCA is becoming more draconian by the day.
So where is GOSA on this? What has GOSA been doing? Well, we're everywhere. We're fighting the battle on a number of fronts, ranging from direct meetings with FLASH (Firearms Liquor and Second Hand), the CFR and lobbying national Government for transparency in the way that the FCA is enacted. We meet regularly with other groups to decide who will take the lead on what action. Court challenges are hugely expensive and it's often not practical for multiple groups to tackle the same ruling. So where there's a more financially able group willing to take the front line of a court challenge, we let them do so and stay in support.
GOSA is a small dedicated exco that works hard for it's members non-stop to ensure that the SAPS keeps to it's mandate in terms of the act. We're there to protect your right to own a firearm and use it for defensive or sport purposes.
WHAT WILL GOSA DO FOR ME?
1. Lobby national government for more rational and sensible firearms legislation
2. Advocate the principle of declare the individual competent and licence the firearm not the person
3. Ensure accountable and transparent implimentation of the FCA
4. Actively enhance the public knowledge and perception of the responsible firearm owners in SA
5. Provide support and guidance (members only) when required.