Issued by SAGA: Tuesday 5 July 2016
We wish to explain the following extract in our email dated 28 July2016 about surrendering firearms to the police in the event that you had not applied for the renewal of the relevant license prior to the expiry date: “If you are surrendering a firearm, there is nothing to prevent you from taking off telescopes, magazines and even the stock or add-ons such a Pachmayr grips, extended safeties, and the like. There is also no prohibition to removing the slide of a semi-auto pistol or the bolt of a rifle you must just not remove barrels or deactivate the firearm.”
Please note that the definition of a firearm includes the “(e) barrel, frame or receiver of a device referred to in paragraphs (a), (b), (c) or (d)” and that section 94 (1) of the FCA provides that “For purposes of this section, 'firearm part' means a slide, bolt or breech-block of a firearm” and that, according to section 94 (2) “No person may possess any firearm part unless he or she - (a) holds a licence in respect of a firearm capable of bearing that firearm part; (b) holds a dealer's licence, manufacturer's licence, gunsmith's licence, import, export or in-transit permit or transporter's permit issued in terms of this Act; or (c) is otherwise authorised to do so.”
Accordingly, all accessories could be removed prior to the surrender of the firearm, but members are advised not to remove any of the parts mentioned above.
It has also come to our notice that when surrendering a firearm to the police, despite your request that the firearm must not be destroyed and your notification that you wish to apply for a new license, the police, probably will destroy it. Whether this happens everywhere we are not certain, we therefore maintain our position that you request a receipt (or otherwise take note of the person to whom you had surrendered the firearm) and inform the police that you intend re-applying for a license.
It has further come to our attention that in certain provinces DFOs have in fact referred late applicants for the renewal of licenses to dealers to surrender the relevant firearms to such dealers. The DFOs had, so it was reported, signed form SAPS 534, a transfer of ownership form, which would mean that the ownership of the particular firearm is transferred to the dealer. In the meantime, though, the same DFOs have now informed such dealers that they had in fact accepted unlicensed firearms. We wish to advise accordingly that, despite SAGA’s efforts to request a former deputy National Commissioner of Police to authorize dealers to accept such unlicensed firearms because he had not done so, that members should not rely on anyone’s advice to surrender any unlicensed firearm to dealers. If a DFO or other police official issues a written authorization one could possibly still rely on it but it is doubtful anyone would do so without an instruction from the National Commissioner.