Firearm Amnesty: Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does the Firearm Amnesty entail?
Firearm amnesty means an indemnity against prosecution for the unlawful possession of a firearm or ammunition. The firearm amnesty provides an opportunity for members of the public to surrender unwanted firearms and ammunition, firearms possessed unlawfully, as well as firearm parts to the South African Police Service without fear of being prosecuted for the unlawful possession thereof.
2. When was Firearm Amnesty declared?
The firearm amnesty was declared by the Minister of Police by publication in the Gazette on 27 November 2019 and it commenced on 1 December 2019 and will end on 31 May 2020.
3. What can be surrendered during the Firearm Amnesty?
Unlawfully possessed firearms, unwanted firearms, unregistered firearms, firearm parts and ammunition may be surrendered during the period of amnesty.
4. What is an unwanted firearm?This relates to:
- Firearms that are lawfully possessed but which their owners no longer need or require them;
- Firearms that are unsafe to use, or are in a poor condition;
- Firearms which were inherited by a person from the deceased and such person is not interested in them; and
- Firearms which were left behind by the previous owner of the property and were found on such property.
5. What is an illegal firearm?
Any firearm, or firearm part(s), which is not licensed and possessed in accordance with the Firearms Control Act 2000 (Act No 60 of 2000).An illegal firearm includes a firearm, or firearm part(s), which:
- is not registered to the current owner;
- does not have a serial number or has a defaced (removed) serial number
- is possessed by a person who does not have a licence for that firearm.
6. Where do I surrender an unwanted firearm, illegal firearm, firearm parts or ammunition?
At the nearest police station between 08:00 and 17:00, including weekends.
7. Will I be arrested when I surrender an unlawfully possessed firearm, an illegal firearm, firearm parts and ammunition?
The Amnesty provides an indemnity from prosecution to any person for the unlawful possession of a firearm, firearm parts and ammunition.
8. Can I apply for licensing of my expired firearm licence during amnesty?
The amnesty allows persons whose firearm licences have expired to surrender such firearms without facing prosecution. The Firearms Control Act, 2000 (Act No 60 of 2000) further allows the person surrendering a firearm to can apply for a license for such a firearm in terms of section 139(4)(a) of the Act.
9. If I surrender a firearm in compliance with firearm amnesty, may I apply for a license in respect of such firearm?
Yes. In terms of section 139(4) (a) of the Firearms Control Act, any person who surrenders a firearm in compliance with amnesty may apply for a license in respect of such firearm. If a license is granted, the surrendered firearm and ammunition must be returned to the holder of the license.
The following requirements will apply when an application for a firearm licence is lodged by a person who surrendered his or her firearm under the above circumstances:
- The limitation on the number of firearms for the different categories a person may legally possess;
- The applicant must be in possession of a valid competency certificate for the firearm for which a licence is applied for;
- A person who applies for a firearm licence, is required to physically hand in the firearm to the Designated Amnesty Official, and lodge an application for a firearm license in respect of that firearm within 14-days.
The application must be submitted to the Designated Amnesty Official of the area where the applicant resides with the following supporting documents:
- A certified copy of the applicant’s competency certificate (if already issued).
- In cases where the applicant does not possess a competency certificate, he/she must apply for a competency certificate in accordance with the provisions of the Firearms Control Act, 2000 (Act No 60 of 2000).
- Completed form 271 on which the applicant must indicate his/her intention to apply for the specific firearm licence. The application for a firearm licence will only be accepted by the Designated Amnesty Official on condition that it is in compliance with the provisions of the Firearms Control Act, 2000 (Act No 60 of 2000).
- Comprehensive motivation to support the need for the firearm licence, preferably in the form of a statement under oath or affirmation.
- Certified copy of the legal firearm licence, permit or authorisation applicable to the specific firearm (if applicable).
Yes, any person who surrenders an illegal firearm during the firearm amnesty, may apply for a firearm license in terms of the Firearms Control Act, 2000 (Act No 60 of 2000) in respect of such a firearm, if he or she is able to produce documentary proof of previous ownership.
10. May another person apply for a license other than the person who surrendered the illegal firearm during the firearm amnesty?
No, only the person who physically surrendered the firearm may apply for a firearm license for the specific firearm surrendered.
11. Will I receive proof for receipt of surrendered illegal firearm?
A person who surrenders his/her firearm, firearm part or ammunition during the period of amnesty, will be required to complete and sign the necessary forms and will get an acknowledgment of receipt.
12. Will I be paid any money or compensation for any item I surrender under the Firearm Amnesty?
No compensation will be paid to any person who surrenders a firearm during the firearm amnesty.
13. What will happen to the surrendered firearms?
All firearms and firearm parts surrendered will be IBIS tested and the firearms/parts and ammunition will be forfeited to the state and be destroyed after been Gazetted.
14. Did the South African Police Service implement measures to address the possible loss, theft or damage of firearms that were surrendered, for which an application for a firearm license was lodged?
Yes. Measures have been put in place to ensure that all surrendered firearms are secured pending finalisation of the applications for licenses.
15. Can I surrender my licenced firearm, if I don’t need it anymore?
Yes, any firearm may be surrendered at your nearest police station.
16. Can the holder of a green card licence participate in the amnesty process and, if so, can he also apply for a license in respect of the surrendered firearm?
Yes. Holders of such licences may voluntary surrender their firearms for destruction or migrate to the white licence following the normal application process.
17. here can I get further information regarding the Firearm Amnesty process or if I have any enquiries in this regard?
Information regarding the Firearms Amnesty may be obtained at your nearest police station, may be accessed on the SAPS website: www.saps.gov.za or the CFR Enquiry Desk may be contacted at 012 353 6111 (available 24-hours, including weekends).
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT YOUR LOCAL POLICE STATION OR CENTRAL FIREARMS REGISTER (CFR) CALL CENTRE AT 012 353 6111 REPORT CORRUPTION AT 0800 701 701