SA gun control ruling puts spotlight on police

SA gun control ruling puts spotlight on police

The South African Arms and Ammunition Dealers Association (Saaada) has labelled a firearms-control ruling by the Constitutional Court as "a travesty of justice" and has resolved not to help with its enforcement‚ saying the ruling deprives many responsible gun owners of their property and the ability to protect themselves in a crime-ridden society. In June‚ the court upheld the constitutionality of regular firearm licences‚ after an appeal by the minister of safety and security‚ by dismissing a high court order that had declared that two sections of the Firearms Control Act of 2000 were unconstitutional. The court ruled that gun ownership was not a fundamental right under SA’s Bill of Rights‚ but a privilege regulated by the act. The ruling means gun owners with unlicensed firearms must surrender them to the police without compensation. It means also that about 400‚000 people are now deemed to be illegal firearm owners. The litigation‚ brought by the Hunters and Game Conservation Association in 2016‚ challenged sections 24 and 28 of the Firearms Control Act of 2000‚ which stipulated that gun owners were required to regularly renew their firearm licences. It said the sections were vague‚ irrational‚ breached the right of equality and deprived gun owners of their property. Under the act of 2000‚ gun owners who have not renewed their licences must forfeit their firearms to the state. Under a previous act‚ a gun licence lasted a lifetime. On Monday‚ Saaada said it acknowledged the court’s ruling in June as "technically correct"‚ […]

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