Get­ting a fi­re­arm li­cen­ce whi­le un­dera­ged

SA Jagter Hunter - - INHOUD - Carl Ar­nold

In last month’s is­sue I dis­cus­sed the mat­ter of re­ne­wal of a com­pe­ten­cy cer­ti­fi­ca­te in terms of the Fi­re­arms Con­t­rol Act (FCA), Act 60 of 2000. This ar­ti­cle fo­cu­ses on the mi­ni­mum age of ap­pli­cants for fi­re­arms li­cen­ces.

The FCA sti­pu­la­tes that a per­son must fir­st­ly obtain a com­pe­ten­cy cer­ti­fi­ca­te in terms of Secti­on 9, be­fo­re he can ap­ply for a fi­re­arm li­cen­ce. Secti­on 9 re­ads as fol­lows:

9(1): “An ap­pli­ca­ti­on for a com­pe­ten­cy cer­ti­fi­ca­te to pos­sess a fi­re­arm... must be de­li­ver­ed to the De­sig­na­ted Fi­re­arms Of­fi­cer re­spon­si­ble for the a­rea in which the ap­pli­cant or­di­na­ry re­si­des or in which the ap­pli­cant’s bu­si­ness is or will be si­tu­a­ted, as the ca­se may be.

9(2): W­he­re a per­son has not pre­vi­ous­ly obtai­ned a com­pe­ten­cy cer­ti­fi­ca­te, a com­pe­ten­cy cer­ti­fi­ca­te may on­ly be is­su­ed to such per­son if he is 21 y­e­ars or ol­der on the day the ap­pli­ca­ti­on is re­cei­ved by the De­sig­na­ted Fi­re­arm Of­fi­cer…”

It’s the­re­fo­re cle­ar, in terms of the FCA, that a per­son must be 21 y­e­ars old or ol­der be­fo­re he can ap­ply for a com­pe­ten­cy cer­ti­fi­ca­te and then for a fi­re­arm li­cen­ce. Ho­we­ver, the­re are cer­tain ci­r­cum­stan­ces w­he­re the a­bo­vemen­ti­o­ned age re­stricti­on doe­sn’t ap­ply. In this re­gard I’m going to re­fer you to Secti­on 9(5) of the FCA which re­ads as fol­lows:

9(5)(a): “Despi­te sub­secti­on 9(2)(a), the Re­gis­trar may al­low a per­son un­der the age of 21 y­e­ars to ap­ply for a com­pe­ten­cy cer­ti­fi­ca­te if the­re are com­pel­ling re­a­sons which re­qui­re the per­son to obtain a com­pe­ten­cy cer­ti­fi­ca­te or a li­cen­ce to pos­sess a fi­re­arm.

( b): Com­pel­ling re­a­sons con­tem­pla­ted in pa­ra­graph (a) may in­clu­de the fact that the ap­pli­cant: • Con­ducts a bu­si­ness • Is gain­ful­ly em­ploy­ed • Is a De­di­ca­ted Hun­ter • Is a De­di­ca­ted Sports Per­son • Is a pri­va­te col­lec­tor.”

The pur­po­se of this sub­secti­on is to ac­com­mo­da­te ap­pli­ cants un­der the age of 21 to obtain a com­pe­ten­cy cer­ti­fi­ca­te and e­ven­tu­al­ly a fi­re­arm li­cen­ce, pro­vi­ded that one or mo­re of the a­bo­vemen­ti­o­ned com­pel­ling re­a­sons are pre­sent.

Let’s fo­cus on the “de­di­ca­ted sta­tu­ses”. W­hat does “de­di­ca­ted” sta­tus me­an and w­hat steps need to be fol­lo­wed be­fo­re an as­so­ci­a­ti­on/or­ga­ni­sa­ti­on can grant “de­di­ca­ted” sta­tus to an in­di­vi­du­al? The ans­wer is qui­te sim­ple: One should join an accre­di­ted as­so­ci­a­ti­on such as the SA Hun­ters and Ga­me Con­ser­va­ti­on As­so­ci­a­ti­on (SAHGCA) and com­ply with their in­ter­nal ru­les which are the fol­lo­wing: • Be­co­me­a­mem­be­rof SAHGCA. • Com­ple­te the De­di­ca­ted Hun­ter’s and/or De­di­ca­ted Sports Per­son cour­ses (you can at­tend both cour­ses, or just one of them). • Af­ter the success­ful com­ple­ti­on of the cour­se/cour­ses and the re­qui­red pa­per­work, the ne­ces­sa­ry de­di­ca­ted cer­ti­fi­ca­te(s) will be is­su­ed to you. It’s im­por­tant to no­te that one has to be at le­ast 16 be­fo­re you can at­tend the­se cour­ses. On­ce you are in pos­ses­si­on of the De­di­ca­ted Hun­ter or De­di­ca­ted Sports Per­son cer­ti­fi­ca­te and you are youn­ger than 21, you can ap­ply for a com­pe­ten­cy cer­ti­fi­ca­te. Upon re­cei­ving it, you can ap­ply for a fi­re­arm li­cen­ce.

No­w­he­re in the FCA does the le­gis­la­tor men­ti­on that one has to be 21 to obtain a fi­re­arm li­cen­ce. The Act on­ly men­ti­ons that one has to be 21 be­fo­re you can get a com­pe­ten­cy cer­ti­fi­ca­te. On­ce you ha­ve a va­lid com­pe­ten­cy cer­ti­fi­ca­te, you can ap­ply for a fi­re­arm li­cen­ce ir­re­specti­ve of your age.

To sum­ma­ri­se: If you are un­der the age of 21, but al­re­a­dy a keen hun­ter or s­port s­hoo­t­er, join a re­cog­ni­sed or­ga­ni­sa­ti­on such as the SAHGCA and at­tend their cour­ses to get de­di­ca­ted sta­tus.

Af­ter re­cei­ving your de­di­ca­ted cer­ti­fi­ca­tes ap­ply for your com­pe­ten­cy cer­ti­fi­ca­te and then for a fi­re­arm li­cen­ce.

Sa­fe s­port shoot­ing and hun­ting!

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