AfriForum concerned over renewal applications for firearm licences during lockdown

AfriForum instructed its legal team to direct a letter to Bheki Cele, Minister of Police, and to Gen. Khehla Sitole, National Police Commissioner, in which AfriForum, among other, expresses its concern that firearm owners’ ability to renew their firearm licences will be negatively affected as a result of the national lockdown.

The lockdown that was announced in 23 March 2020 determines that citizens may only leave their houses for essential reasons, among which to purchase food and for medical reasons.

AfriForum is concerned that the current state of affairs may dictate that the renewal of firearm licences may not be considered an essential reason to leave the house, or that police stations may refuse to accept applications in light of the current state of disaster.

AfriForum also enquired in its letter about the possibility of granting an extension period to firearm owners who are faced by this dilemma.

“Since the state of disaster was announced, AfriForum has indicated unequivocally that the organisation will participate as a role-player in all attempts to help fight the spread of the disease. However, the state of disaster should be managed in such a way that attention should be given to all aspects – among which legal firearm possession. The nightmare that people must endure when they fail to renew their firearm licences within the prescribed period is tiresome and poses many risks to these owners. AfriForum will ensure that all remedies are exhausted in a bid to spare firearm owners these torments,” says Ian Cameron, AfriForum’s Head of Community Safety.

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