Thousands of firearm owners are running out of time to convert their old-regime licences to the current format contained in the Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000.
Police divisional commissioner for visible policing Arno Lamoer says gun owners born between 1 October and 31 December have only three more months to submit their applications for to the Designated Firearms Officer situated in the area where they reside.
The police commenced the licence conversion process in January 2005 and plan to to wind up work on 31 March.
“It must be stated that there will not be an extension after 31 March 2009 for the late filing of renewal applications,” Lamoer says in a statement.
After that date all old-style licences will lapse and those possessing firearms but not possessing new licences will have until 30 June to dispose of such weapons by either lawfully selling them, having them deactivated or surrendering them to the police, who will them destroy the guns.
“I urge those persons who have not submitted their renewal applications to do so as soon as possible and not to wait until the last day,” Lamoer adds. “Past experience showed that a large number of people wait until the last few days to submit their applications. This resulted in long queues and angry applicants at the respective Firearm Registration Centres and hampered the effectiveness of the Designated Firearms Officers” he adds.
Information on the renewal of firearms and other options are available from Designated Firearms Officers at the respective Police Stations and Firearm Registration Centres or at the National Firearms Call Centre at Tel. (012) 353-6111 , Fax (012) 353-6034 or e-mail [email protected].