What do you need to do, if you inherit a firearm?

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Whether one owns a firearm for hunting or for safety reasons, following the proper legislature is of the utmost importance. However, what happens when a gun owner dies? What is his family required to do?

Newcastle police spokesperson, Captain Jabulani Ncube explains that the Firearms Control Act, 2000 (Act No 60 of 2000) and the Firearms Control Regulations, 2004 impose specific requirements on a person who, under any execution warrant issued by a court of law, or letter of executorship, letter of administration or letter of curatorship from the High Court or the Master of the High Court, acts as a messenger of the court, bailiff, executor, administrator, trustee, curator or liquidator of the estate of a person who possesses a firearm and/or ammunition.

If a person inherits a firearm and wishes to keep the firearm, they need to apply for an appropriate licence, permit or authorisation in terms of the Firearm Control Act, 2000 (Act No 60 of 2000). 

If a person who inherits a firearm does not wish to acquire the firearm or fails to obtain the appropriate licence, permit or authorisation, they must deactivate the firearm or dispose of the firearm in term of the provisions of the Firearm Control Act, 2000 (Act No 60 of 2000). 

Immediately after being appointed the executor, administrator, trustee, curator or liquidator of an estate, where there are firearms are involved, a person needs to take the following steps:

  •  Compile an inventory of all the firearms, ammunition and firearm parts in possession of the holder of a licence, permit or authorisation.
  • The licence, permit or authorisation must clearly indicate the make, type and calibre of the firearm.
  • The manufacturer’s serial number or additional identification marks must also reflect on the firearm.

Within 14 days after the seizure of the firearms, or receipt of the letter of appointment, as the case may be, the individual must deliver a letter, document or send a facsimile (notification) to the Central Firearms Register, which must contain the following particulars:

  • The full name, identity number and address of the holder of the licence, permit or authorisation.
  • The address where the firearms and ammunition are stored.
  • A copy of the inventory of the firearms and ammunition.
  • A copy of the execution warrant or letter of appointment
  • If the holder of the licence, permit or authorisation is deceased, a copy of the death certificate.
  • The full names, identity numbers and addresses of all the beneficiaries, if the firearms and ammunition devolve by testamentary or intestate succession.
  • Documentary proof of appointment as executor, administrator, trustee, curator or liquidator of the estate in question.

For more information please contact your nearest police station, where police officers will assist you in the necessary process.

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