2006-08-21 : Gun Dealers going out of business

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2006-08-21 : Gun Dealers going out of business

Postby Emilio » Mon, 2006-08-21 13:02

GOSA notes with outrage the revelations by Andrew Souter, Chairman of the Arms and Ammunition Dealers Association that saw some 640 of 720 gun dealers go out of business by June 2004. The revelations were made before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Safety and Security, where the charade still continues that implementation of the Firearms Control Act has not collapsed into chaos.

The responsibility for the destruction of so many small businesses must be laid squarely before the door of Minister Charles Nqakula, whose incompetence and intransigence is going a long way to destroy the efforts of some of his colleagues to convince the international investor community that their assets are safe in South Africa.

Minister Nqakula has been thumbing his nose at our Constitution and the rule of law since 2004. The Minister endangers international treaties, not least those with the EU which grant South Africa favourable trade concessions. The Firearms Control Act provides for compensation to those whose property rights are affected by the Act. Yet, no compensation is forthcoming while dealers with warehouses full of stock go into liquidation because of bottlenecks at the Central Firearms Register.

We urge President Thabo Mbeki to appoint someone who can get to grips with persistent problems and chaotic implementation to head the Department of Safety and Security. When England and Australia changed their gun laws, compensation payments were processed quickly and efficiently. We are sure advice on compensation roll-out can easily be obtained from those countries.
If need be, Government must consult those countries.

Minister Nqakula cannot hide his head in the sand forever. The issue of compensation has to be tackled, not least to limit inevitable delictual claims.

As an interim measure, GOSA demands that government deal with the emergency.
We demand an immediate ex gratia payment to each and every registered arms dealer in the period between 1999 and 2006 of R1m. This could serve as bridging finance until the Central Firearms Register at last gets its act together and compensation is paid for stock on hand. It will allow some dealers to continue trading for a short time, ameliorate family and employees' worst suffering, allow for running costs and cost-of-living expenses and compensate for lost goodwill.

We have seen the negligent destruction of a legitimate industry worth billions. Reports that dealers in dire straits are having to seek second jobs, take their children out of university, cashing in insurance policies etc are an absolute disgrace. It is a disgrace that their country treated them that way.

For further information please contact GOSA Executive Member Brett Nortje at
+27 011 766 3243
Emilio
 
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Joined: Tue, 2006-02-07 05:29
Location: Sandton, South Africa

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