Removal of a Firearm
The South African Police Service (SAPS) may remove a firearm under certain circumstances:
Illegal possession of firearms
Anyone who has a firearm without a licence is committing an offence. If you report the offence to the SAPS, they can then search for and seize the firearm without a warrant.
You must make a statement to the SAPS at a police station, stating how you know that someone has a firearm without a licence. You can ask the SAPS to open a docket and investigate the matter. The SAPS will seize the firearm and a criminal case will follow.
Licenced firearm owners
If you believe a licensed firearm owner is dangerous and unfit to possess a firearm, make a statement about that at a police station. Ask the Designated Firearms Officer (DFO) to hold a "Section 11 hearing" to declare the person unfit to possess a firearm. The SAPS can hold this hearing if the firearm owner:
The SAPS will deliver a notice in writing to the person, telling them to appear for a hearing. The SAPS may issue a warrant for the search and seizure of the firearm at the same time. The hearing is usually run by a superintendent of the SAPS or someone of higher rank. The person can be represented by an attorney at the hearing, and may call witnesses and cross-examine them, including the person who made the statement against them.
If the person is found to be unfit to possess a firearm, all their firearms and licences must be surrendered to the SAPS. A declaration of unfitness is usually for a period of not less than 2 years. The Western Cape SAPS processes more successful Section 11 hearings than any other province of South Africa.
In terms of the Arms and Ammunition Act of 1969, people convicted of the following crimes are automatically deemed to be unfit to possess a firearm:
Anyone convicted of these offences must surrender their firearm to the SAPS. If you know someone that has a gun and is guilty of a firearms-related offence, make a statement at a police station about that. Ask the DFO to ensure the person surrenders the firearm.
Persons convicted of other offences
Courts have the discretion to declare someone unfit to possess a firearm if they’re convicted, particularly on offences involving violence. If you’re a victim of an offence involving violence, it's worth asking the prosecutor in the matter to ask the court for a declaration of unfitness. The prosecutor should do this after the person has been convicted and while sentencing is being decided.
People convicted of the following crimes may be declared unfit to possess a firearm:
These facility categories: