The extended firearm amnesty period expires on 31 January 2021, meaning that firearm owners whose licences have expired have three days left to hand in their unlicenced and unwanted firearms.
The extended amnesty period was prompted since the previous amnesty period, which was intended for a period of six months, was derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The restrictions of Levels 5 and 4 had made it difficult for people to turn in illegal as well as their unlicensed and unwanted firearms and ammunition.
A new Firearm Amnesty was approved by Parliament at the end of July for a period of six months, from 1 August 2020 to 31 January 2021. Despite Covid-19 the South African Police Service (SAPS) reports that 46 714 firearms have already been handed in. The amnesty period gives members of the public the opportunity to surrender firearms to the police without fear of being prosecuted. Those who surrender their firearms during the period of amnesty will be required to complete and sign the necessary forms at the nearest police station, and must insist on a copy of the SAPS 548 (amnesty form).
Members of the public are urged to take advantage of this period to hand in firearms and ammunition either for destruction or renewal of a competency certificate and a valid licence. All firearms that have been handed in will undergo ballistic testing to ensure that they have not been used in the commission of any crimes, before they can be considered for destruction.
For more information the community is encouraged to contact their local police station or the Central Firearms Register (CFR) call centre on 012 353 6111 and report corruption on 0800 701 701.