WEB VERSION| 20 January 2020
May I carry my firearm in public?
During the licencing process, a lot of people motivated owning a firearm in terms of Section 13 for self-defence purposes and therefore wish to carry their firearms on them. If you are one of these people you would want to comply with the Firearms Control Act in this regard.
But what DOES the law say? Section 84 of the Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000 deals with the carrying of firearms in public and it reads as follows:
84 (1): No person may carry a firearm in a public place unless the firearm is carried:
In the case of a handgun, in a holster or similar holder designed, manufactured or adapted for the carrying of a handgun and attached to his/her person, or in a rucksack or similar holder.
In the case of any other firearm, in a holder designed, manufactured or adapted for the carrying of the firearm.
(2) A firearm contemplated in subsection (1) must be completely covered and the person carrying the firearm must be able to exercise effective control over such firearm.
It’s therefore clear that a person may indeed carry a firearm in a holster on his body, but it must be covered.
It’s against the law to carry your firearm in a holster on your body in such a way that it is visible to everyone around you, especially in public. It is easy to cover a holstered handgun with a jacket or shirt.
If you prefer to carry your handgun in a “rucksack”, handbag or any other kind of bag, please ensure that you have full control over it at all times. You will be prosecuted if you lose a firearm that has been put away/concealed in a rucksack and that rucksack gets stolen if you put it down somewhere in a public place. Motorcars and rucksacks are not considered safe storage places.
Losing a firearm that way will definitely lead to prosecution and if you are found guilty you could be declared unfit to possess a firearm and lose your licence. (SA JAGTER/HUNTER, Julie 2015)