A friend’s father owns a handgun. He bought the firearm many years ago, re-licensed under the new legislation and got his white firearm license. He hardly ever uses the firearm and his sons are not interested in it and they don't own firearms. Whenever I saw the man I would remind him to renew his competency and license however he allowed the license and competency to lapse.
He had hoped to take advantage of the firearms amnesty that expired at the end of January 2021 in order to re-license his firearm but unfortunately, in addition to being a diabetic he also has an additional serious comorbidity in that he is on oxygen 18 hours a day after suffering heart complications. Given his poor health, he was advised not to risk going out into public places and especially not to stand in queues with other people as, should he be infected with COVID-19, it will have life-threatening consequences for him.
During 2020 he phoned his local police station numerous times prior to the end of January 2021 in the hope of speaking to someone who could advise him what to do considering that it was not safe for him to come into the police station but there was nobody available to assist him. I wrote to CFR on his behalf earlier this year but have yet to receive a response.
He is therefore currently in possession of an unlicensed firearm and I was reminded of this when I read the following on SAHGCA's newsletter that I received this week:
Is this what I should advise the man to do? I was going to tell him to sit tight and pray for another amnesty. Unfortunately, I think there are still many thousands of firearm owners out there with expired licenses and it remains to be seen how SAPS plans to deal with that. They can't even handle the comparatively few new applications never mind all the expired/unlicensed ones.SA Hunters cannot help anyone whose firearm licence has expired. It means that you are in illegal possession of a firearm that you cannot use. You can’t even hand it in at a dealer. The only remedy is to surrender the firearm to SAPS for destruction. Do not use it and do not drive around with it.
Although some people may have legit reasons for not renewing in time, I think 99% dont - and they give us a bad name and make the firearms community look irresponsible. My friend's dad may have a ligit excuse not to have renewed under the amnesty but he should not have allowed the license to expire in the first place. Still, here we are and I'm wondering what the best advice is that I can give the man.
What do you guys think?