Media statement re last week’s Constitutional Court Challenge


Eight justices of the Constitutional Court, our country’s highest court, will henceforth have to carefully consider the arguments made on behalf of the Minister of Police (as appellant), SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association (as defendant), Gun Free SA and Fidelity Security (both as amici curiae) and then adjudicate the case on the facts as contained in pleadings and the law. Since Judge Tolmay on 4 July 2017 ruled, amongst others, that sections 24 and 28 of the Firearms Control Act, No. 60 of 2000 were unconstitutional, our law requires that any finding of unconstitutionality by a High Court, needs to be confirmed by the Constitutional Court.

On behalf of the minister it was argued that the Gauteng North High Court went beyond what was proven by the applicant (SA Hunters) and that, accordingly, the ruling could not be confirmed. Counsel for SA Hunters, however, argued convincingly that there are clear gaps in the legislation, especially in the sense that no provision is made for firearm owners who had failed to timeously apply for the renewal for their licenses, to do so either during the so-called 90-days period or even after the license has expired.  Great emphasis was placed on the fact that the failure to timeously apply for the renewal of licenses criminalise such gun owners and deprive them of their ownership of their firearms. This is an argument based on constitutional principles that protect citizens against vague and irrational legislation and equal protection for all. It also guards against arbitrary deprivation of property. We are satisfied that the court understands that there are gaps in the law and that these gaps cause confusion and uncertainty among firearm owners.

The argument of GFSA was based on emotion and (again) irrelevant statistics and we are of the view that it will not contribute significantly to any finding or decision.

Fidelity argued that sections 24 and 28 were not unconstitutional, but rather that clear guidelines should be given regarding the interpretation of the provisions. These guidelines could then be utilised by parliament in redrafting the Firearms Control Act.

As expected, at the conclusion of the arguments, the court postponed the matter for consideration and to deliver judgment. Although we have no indication how long this might take, the justices are extremely hard-working and they have very high productivity rate.

Is it possible to predict the ruling of the court? It will be unethical and very irresponsible to do so.  The court will declare unconstitutional provisions of an Act only if there are no other remedies. Accordingly, even if the court does not confirm the declaration of unconstitutionality of sections 24 and 28 by the Gauteng High Court, it may nevertheless provide interpretation and guidelines for its application.

Firearm owners are reminded that it remains their responsibility to timeously apply for the renewal of their licenses or to lawfully dispose of such firearms should they no longer wish to possess them. Although the CFR sends out sms notices  to remind licensees of the imminent expiry of their licenses, it still does not happen consistently. Rather diarize the expiry dates and apply for renewal in time.


Adv. John I. Welch

Gauteng Society of Advocates

Bushido Legal Consulting


Constitutional Court Appeal Hearing (SAGA release dd 31/01/2018)

There has been some confusion as a result of the distribution or redistribution of a media statement by Gun Owners of South Africa (GOSA) regarding the High Court case in which SA Hunters and SAGA and the Minister of Police were involved.

Members must please note that this GOSA statement refers to the judgment of Judge Tolmay of the Gauteng North division of the High Court on 4 July 2017 in the application by SA Hunters (in which SAGA was a friend of the court or amicus curiae) versus the Minister of Police. In her judgment the judge ruled that sections 24 and 28 of the Firearms Control Act were unconstitutional and that government was given 18 months during which to remedy the shortcomings and to ensure that the provisions meet the standards of the SA Constitution. In a follow-up media statement the police indicated that they would probably lodge an appeal against the judgment. This the Minister of Police duly did by appealing directly to the Constitutional Court. The appeal was been set down for hearing on 8 February 2018 but because of the opening of parliament on that day, the Chief Justice changed the hearing date to 7 February 2018.

Because SAGA fully supports the arguments that SA Hunters’ counsel will raise on appeal, and because we cannot add value, SAGA has decided not to apply to the Constitutional Court to become an amicus curiae party. An amicus curiae party is expected to seek substantially different relief from the court but SAGA seeks the same relief. A representative of SAGA will be present during the appeal hearing to render support. Members will be kept informed of further developments.

The SAGA Trust

P O Box 35203

Northway 4065

South Africa

Firearms as an Investment

The 702 Money Show – Bruce Whitfield

Carvel Webb, president of SAAACA Gauteng, was interviewed by award winning 702 journalist Bruce Whitfield as part of the Money Show’s “The science of… Investing in Firearms”

Should you wish to hear the interview, a podcast is available, please go to


select Tuesday 26th July, and click on the cursor and move forward to around 50 minutes or so.


SAGA Media Release – Police killings and Firearms 5/8/15



 The South African Gunowners’ Association (SAGA) extends its sincere condolences to the family and friends of all police officers and all other victims of crime who have been killed by the perpetrators of unscrupulous and heinous criminal acts.

 During a recent visit to Katlehong to talk to family and friends of police officials who had been killed at the hands of criminals over the last few months, the President asked, correctly in our view, whether police were being too “soft” and “democratic” when dealing with criminals. He then said that he thought the “nation has to explain how the police must protect themselves and the country” and whether the police should be killed by criminals because they must be “soft” and “democratic” when facing criminals?

 It is unfortunate that the President then embarked on the bandwagon of disarmament. How often must it be repeated that people kill, not guns, or, for that matter, any weapon? SAGA and all other law-abiding citizens believe that criminals and all other incompetent people who possess firearms must be disarmed. Disarming the “good guys” is nothing but complicity to violent crime.

 While allegations of corruption, mismanagement, lack of discipline, inadequate training, incompetence, lengthy response time to emergency calls, etc. in the Police Service are continually being made, the lawful firearm owner is often the first responder to violent crime. After all, she or he is on the crime scene and if armed and adequately trained, is the most efficient way to thwart an unlawful and violent attack.

 Advocates for disarmament of citizens are quick to point out that only law enforcement officials should possess firearms. The killing (and robbing) of police officials is a clear demonstration as to why law-abiding citizens must not be disarmed.

 We wish to emphasize that the Constitution and the law bind all peoples of the country, the President, ministers, politicians, government officials, law enforcement personnel and private citizens. The law is clear as to the circumstances under which a person may lawfully take the life of another. We must all abide by this. Police officials should not demand stronger powers to give them special “killing rights”. No, what the police need are proper and effective training, the right equipment, discipline and the correct attitude that is required of a police official.

 Our judicial system has all the powers at their disposal to effectively deal with criminals who thrive on violence and especially those who attack and kill police officers or home occupiers. Attacking and killing law enforcement officials or performing acts of violence on victims of crimes such as housebreaking with intent to commit a crime, rape or robbery constitute aggravating circumstances, which justify life imprisonment.

 This media statement is issued in the interest of all law-abiding citizens and in the protection of the rights of lawful and responsible firearm owners.

 Issued by: The SAGA Office  tel +27 31 5629951  fax: +27 86 5539615

SAGA Media Statement 9 Nov 2014 (President’s call for more stringent gun control)


In a statement in the National Council of Provinces, President Zuma on 6 November said that “.. we are seriously concerned about the proliferation of guns in our society, and the level of violence that we have seen on display”. He continued to say that the “police will take advantage of the proposed changes in the Firearms Control Act to introduce more stringent measures for gun control and ownership.” He also referred to the murder of soccer star, Senzo Meyiwa and the attempted murder of ANC MP, Mthembu.

If these two incidents were a wakeup call for the President, it reflects a sad state of affairs since approximately 47 people are killed daily in South Africa. What makes these two individuals more equal than all others to justify such a public outcry?

The South African Gunowners’ Association (SAGA) wholeheartedly supports any call for and all measures to remove illegal firearms from society. It also fully agrees with an enhanced programme of action against violent crime (in fact, all crime). However, the President‘s call for “more stringent measures for gun control and ownership” is pure rhetoric and aimed at the wrong target (pun intended).

The issue is crime and people control – not gun control. Citizens must change their attitudes and become law abiding. While we have this culture of civil disobedience in our country where traffic laws and all other types of petty (and in many instances serious) crimes are committed as if there were no laws, the tendency to commit any and all types of crime will persist.

The Firearms Control Act, No. 60 of 2000 is already a strict law. The so-called two-fold licencing system, if applied correctly, does a great deal to ensure that only competent people possess firearms. The Act further provides for almost draconian penalties, up to 25 years’ imprisonment for the unlawful possession of a firearm and, up to 5 years’ imprisonment for the negligent loss of a firearm. In both instances, upon conviction, one is also deemed to be unfit to possess a firearm. This means that an existing licensed firearm owner will forfeit all his or her other firearms to the state.

How ironic is it that the vision of the government’s Delivery Agreement of 14 September 2010 is that “All people in South Africa are and feel safe”? By introducing stricter measures for gun control and ownership, government will achieve only one thing: to make ordinary law abiding citizens even easier targets and more vulnerable to criminals. Criminals will not be concerned about the president’s call for the introduction of stricter measures. They will merely enjoy a much risk-reduced working environment.

Ordinary citizens do not have the luxury of bodyguards and most cannot afford alarms and armed response services. Plus, they are all aware of how long it takes for the police to respond to an emergency call. In case of an emergency, one cannot expect the police to be present – they simply do not have the human and other resources to be everywhere all the time. When a violent attack happens, the victims have to be self-reliant. The best protection remains a well-trained individual armed with a readily available handgun. But then this is every free person’s personal choice – SAGA does not prescribe what free people should do, excepting to stay lawful and safe.

If the call for stricter measures is to reduce the number of negligent losses of firearms we suggest government starts looking at the number of firearms lost by, or stolen from, its own agencies. This includes those rented out by police and the military; and its failure to account for all the surrendered firearms and all those firearms for which licences have illegally been obtained due to corruption and fraud. Sources of illegal firearms that are often not considered, since it is more convenient to blame legal firearm owners, are: the unaccounted firearms of the former independent and self-governing states in South Africa; those of the former liberation movements; and those that enter through the porous and often uncontrolled borders of South Africa.

SAGA believes that the best thing that the President and government can do, is to focus their energy and the resources of the state on eliminating corruption and criminal activities within state institutions.

Although the Firearms Control Act is still a teenager, it has already been amended a number of times and the much applauded control system of world repute is still to be seen to function efficiently. What is required is a well-trained, well-resourced and dedicated police service that will ensure efficacy in the implementation and enforcement of existing firearms legislation.

This statement is issued by SAGA in the pursuit of a safe environment where everyone may enjoy his or her legitimate freedoms, with no unnecessary infringements and interferences.


John I. Welch (Chairman & Spokesperson)

The SAGA Trust

9 November 2014

Police committee convenes summit on gun control

PARLIAMENT, THURSDAY, 06 NOVEMBER 2014 – The Portfolio Committee on Police will convene a summit on gun control in February next year.

The Committee took this decision at its meeting yesterday. Committee Chairperson, Mr Francois Beukman, says the Committee resolved to convene the summit in order to evaluate the state of gun control in the country by receiving inputs from relevant stakeholders.

The Committee will, after the summit, hold public hearings around the country to obtain public input into the Firearms Amendment Act, which is on the Committee’s legislative programme for 2015. The Committee has also commissioned the Research unit of Parliament to make available a case study on the state of gun control in other jurisdictions, with special reference to SADC countries.

The Committee also resolved to evaluate on quarterly basis the revised plan SAPS tabled on how it planned to address challenges that have been found in the Central Firearms Registry.


For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact:

Temba Gubula (Mr) : Parliamentary Communication Services

NAACCSA Interpretation on FCA amendments implimented 1/3/2012

Dear Member and Collector,

The National Arms and Ammunition Collectors Confederation of South Africa (NAACCSA) have drafted an interpretation of the FCA amendments that came into effect on 01 March 2012.

This document is released without prejudice and represents NAACCSA Exco’s current interpretation of the said legislation, with the aim of assisting collectors and collector associations. [Document can be viewed here]


FCA Amendments Act 2006, parts come into operation 1/3/2012

Dear Member,

Certain provisions of the Firearms Control Amendment Act 2006 have been proclaimed and come into force from 01 March 2012.

The relevant Government Gazette has been made available here for your convenience.

Gazette 35047 – Proclamation and enforcement of FCA amendments 1 March 2012

Collectors and Professional Hunters are urged in particular to ensure they fully understand the contents hereof.


Muzzle Loader and Black Powder

Dear Firearm owner and Collector.

Please take note of the Government Gazette dated 14 December 2011, Government notice 1059.

As follows:


By virtue of the powers vested in me by item 1A(3) of schedule 1 to the Firearms Control Act, 2000 (Act No.60 of 2000). I, Emmanuel Nkosinathi Mthethwa, Minister of Police, hereby extend the period for the application of competency certificates for muzzle loading firearms until the 31st of July 2012.

EN Mthethwa (Minister of Police)

Dangerous Weapons Bill

To Member organisations,

Please find the link to the NAACCSA submission, relating to the Dangerous Weapons Bill.

NAACCSA DWB 2011 submission