Gun Owners of SA: ‘Half of gun licence applicants turned down’
7 Feb 2011
JOHANNESBURG — Firearm licence applications are being refused although applicants comply with all requirements, the Gun Owners of SA said yesterday.
Said spokesperson Brett Nortje,“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.”
He said the Firearms Register has shifted the burden of licensing firearms on to the Firearms Appeal Board as it is “an easy way to wipe out the register’s backlogs of up to six years”.
Nortje called this a “hugely expensive option” as unsuccessful applicants need 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) is 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.” But he had not disclosed a turnaround plan or the cost of its implementation.
“Implementation of the FCA is a billion rand black hole,” said Nortje.