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  1. #1

    Default Time to Push Your Association

    By Jonathan Deal published in On Target Africa – June edition 2018.

    Practically Speaking is a compendium of current issues of concern for gun owners. Reader participation is invited, as are suggestions for topics for future discussion.



    Do you remember Oliver?

    As I write this, I’m reminded poignantly of my advancing years, because I suspect a number of our readers will not have heard of Oliver Twist, the little orphan boy in the 1837 serial by Charles Dickens.

    To get to the point, the most striking scene for me in the film version, which I enjoyed circa 1965, was young Oliver standing with an empty soup bowl, in front of Fagin, asking timidly: “Please sir, may I have some more?”

    That, dear reader, is how I feel as a gun owner at the hands of the Central Firearm Register (CFR). As a SAPS, ITA, and PFTC certified trainer and instructor, sports-shooter, and owner of a number of different firearms, in February I received one of those neat little CFR SMSs informing me that my application for a licence had been denied, and that I would soon be informed in writing of the reasons therefore.

    Now this is not the first time that this has happened, and I’m sure that the story strikes a chord with many of you, too. You will appreciate when I say the application was perfectly valid and competent in every respect – probably as were your applications, which may have also been denied for vague and spurious reasons. It’s 17 April as I write this, and I still have no idea of the reason as to why my application was denied. And, of course, without that letter, I cannot appeal, as I have no idea what to appeal against.

    Thus, despite the clear requirement in the Regulations attached to Act 60 of 2000, CFR will evidently do just as it pleases. The regulation in question, from REGULATIONS 2004 No. R. 2004, states in Chapter 11, Part 2 that Any police official taking an administrative decision in terms of the Act which may detrimentally affect the rights of a person, must –

    (a) immediately when the decision is made, record in writing the reasons for the decision

    (b) append his or her signature, together with the date, to the reasons, and

    (c) without delay notify the person concerned in writing of the decision stating the reasons referred

    to in paragraph (a) and the date and place where the decision was taken.

    Lest this column be mistaken for a showcase of my personal licencing woes, I move on to my point. It would appear that the CFR management has learnt a valuable lesson from Julius Caesar in his approach of ‘divide and conquer’. As far as I can see, it’s working for them swimmingly. However, as much as the CFR management seem to have taken this proverb to heart, it also seems equally clear to me that the average South African gun owner doesn’t have any faith in the concept of ‘Unity is Strength’.

    Thus, at the risk of raising your ire today, I predict that, as long as you, the South African gun owners, and even potential gun owners, don’t stand as a unified group, the CFR and other structures in our government will do with you as they please. You will be on a continuous ‘hiding to nothing’.

    Until, as individual gun owners and as dues-paying members of powerful associations, you provide those same associations with a mandate – no, an instruction, to work together and form a Federal body to represent all gun owners, with clout and power, money, and determination – you will be just like Oliver Twist, begging the CFR to carry out the job it gets paid to do.

    I have been appalled over the years to witness association management sitting on their hands while their members’ rights are trampled and report instead about cordial meetings and polite overtures with incompetent bureaucrats who laugh up their sleeves at us.

    Here’s my idea – and no, it’s not a new idea, and no, I don’t want the job. Form a federal body. It must include all the existing associations – pistol, rifle, hunting, skeet, collectors, dealers, importers, manufacturers – anyone with an interest in owning a firearm for any legal purpose, and also be open to individual membership, too. A full-time executive team should be well paid to carry out the full-time job of lobbying, educating, supporting members and, where necessary, litigating.

    Please let me be clear. I’m not talking about the end of specific associations for unique disciplines – those are, of course, vital to regulate the varied branches of sports-shooting or gun ownership. The formation of such a body has been attempted before, many times, by good people who have put a lot of work into it.

    (And I dare not mention even one name because I’m likely to upset one of the other egos who isn’t mentioned). People who fly up and down the country to parliament, to the CFR, and even to the Constitutional Court with brave papers and good intentions – and who have failed. I know what it feels like to spend days drafting court papers for the good of everyone, while others are out enjoying the weekend with their family and friends – and I take my hat off to those people.

    It’s the heads, mainly the heads of the associations, whom I blame for the status quo – the heads and their selfish desire to preserve their little patches of turf, cling to their identity of a specific discipline of gun ownership, hunting, sports-shooting, or commercial interest. And so they argue about who wrote the best papers, who was there first, who did the best work, who had the best lawyer – instead of getting together, forgetting about their own little turfs, and forming one national (NRA-like) body that will result in the head of the CFR developing a serious case of the jitters when his department doesn’t perform according to the laws of our country.

    Today, with or without a mandate, I speak up for anyone and everyone in South Africa who owns a gun, or who chooses to exercise their right to decide to own a gun. I call on all gun owners and shooters to write to their respective associations and representatives, and demand that they start talking to each other about establishing a federal body in order to hold the CFR and its masters to account.

    It’s time, ladies and gentlemen of the associations, to stand together, pool your resources, and take action against the CFR on behalf of all of the gun owners of South Africa, instead of ‘on behalf of’ this or that fractured group.

    Published with the permission of On Target Africa
    Last edited by Wanderin' Zero; 11-06-2018 at 13:27.
    Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit: occidentis telum est.

    Seneca (4 BC - 65 AD)

  2. #2

    Default Re: Time to Push Your Association

    I'm writing an email to NHSA as we speak, so to speak.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Time to Push Your Association

    Big heads and even bigger egos will be the death of us. I firmly believe in principles before personalities.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Time to Push Your Association

    I think it's a great idea. I am just worried that someone is now going to create a new organisation to bring together all the others.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Time to Push Your Association

    Jonathan Deal has more experience to fight a cause than all of us put together.

    I respect the man and when he is serious about a cause be cat foot to any body he will fight if he needs to. If support is there he is a tiger.

    Research his experience and his achievements.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Time to Push Your Association

    In 2009 there was an attempt to form a United Firearms Forum (UFF). With the exception of the SA High Power Rifle Association, there were no representatives from the shooting sports! Collectors, hunters, dealers, SAGA, Afriforum and TAU SA thought it worthwhile. The major sports shooting associations, dead from the neck up presumably. Yet we can be sure that any amendments to the FCA will seriously affect their members.

    All sports shooters need to demand that their associations look further than the next competition and argument about the rules.

    Peter
    Secretary SA High Power Rifle Association

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    Default Re: Time to Push Your Association

    Is this not why GOSA was created?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Time to Push Your Association

    Theunsb has a great point....If Jonathan Deal is the right person we shout seriously consider standing behind the man not a organisation with other interests and mandates..Lets run a poll for a support base for Jonathan Deal..only the collective can empower a person to act in the interest of all gun owners. Associations are splinters of different gun owners interests..sport shooting, hunting etc....This is a political problem that needs a political solution...."JUST MY TAKE"

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Time to Push Your Association

    Current associations have very little interest in doing this, IMO. We need something along the Carbon Tax for vehicles, but controlled for our benefit.

    Buy a new gun - gunshop charges the R500.00 (eg) and you become a member of XYZ (NRA) organization; that monitors your app & addresses refusals & delays on your part.
    That way, the info is centralised.

    Just a thought...

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Time to Push Your Association

    Many of the sport associations got together a few years ago as the Sport Shooting Forum and did send representatives to the parliament portfolio committee. Pin Shooting was one of them and we assisted with the funding from our relatively meager kitty. Paul here on the Forum was the main driver of the initiative, which I believe was successful in putting our views across. Speaking for Pin Shooting, we would certainly become involved again.

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