NAACCSA Press Release 2007-03-07

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NAACCSA Press Release 2007-03-07

Postby GOSA » Wed, 2006-03-08 14:23

National Arms and Ammunition Collectors’ Confederation of South Africa

Release – immediate 7th March 2006

Reacting to the proposed amendments to the Firearms Control Act published last week, a spokesperson for the National Arms and Ammunition Collectors’ Confederation of South Africa ( NAACCSA) commented positively on those elements of the proposals designed to simplify the administration of the Act through the elimination of the requirement for relicencing existing firearms.

“This is in line with our recommendations to Government to place more emphasis on the firearm owner rather than on the firearm, and we believe that Competency Certification coupled with an Audit of existing firearms will constitute a sound foundation for moving forward in achieving the requirements of the Act “

He however added that Collectors were “deeply concerned” at other elements of the proposals which directly affected Private and Public (e.g. Museum) Collections of firearms.

“Private Collectors of Firearms have been formally active in this country for over 50 years, and we have a proud tradition of, and enviable reputation for responsible firearm ownership, Given that the bulk of collectible firearms in South Africa are held in private collections, (worth about R750m in monetary terms, and in many cases irreplaceable in terms of Heritage value), it is clear that Private Collectors play an invaluable role in the collection, restoration and preservation of a significant part of South Africa’s ‘National Estate’ in this area, in close co-operation with the National Heritage Resources Agency and various National and Local Museums.

The dispensation around the Private and Public collection of firearms, as with other firearm disciplines such as Hunting and Sports shooting, was significantly revised and tightened up in the FCA compared to the previous Act, and we have worked closely with our Members and the SAPS to implement these new requirements with noteworthy results.

Coupled with our previous history of responsible firearm ownership and the diligent efforts of the various Accredited Collector Associations to implement the requirements of the FCA over the last two years, we are at a loss to understand the requirements in the proposed amendments to make Collectible firearms ‘inoperable’ and to restrict the bona fide and lawful use of Collectable firearms.

Just as Classic Car owners drive their cars, the majority of Collectors regularly use their firearms through participation in period shoots, re-enactments, demonstrations of firearms for research and educational purposes, historic and present day competitions and occasional hunting.

Furthermore any process which affects the metallurgical structure of the firearm would destroy its value and / or make the firearm unsafe. This would be unacceptable in our opinion, both in terms of the impact on existing ownership rights, as well as being in conflict with the National Heritage Resources Act in certain instances – he added.

We therefore believe that there are a number of ways in which any valid concerns that the SAPS or Government may have can be addressed, without inappropriately impacting on Collectors’ hard earned property, and bona fide and lawful usage rights under South African Law and we will be pursuing further discussions in this regard with a view to reaching a mutually acceptable outcome “, he concluded.
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