Kindly receive some feedback on the deliberations with the expert team of the Ministry of Safety and Security:
1. The meetings were perceived to have been constructive and productive;
2. All matters of concern were raised and discussed. A comprehensive feedback will be provided once clarity has been received by the Deputy Minister of Safety and Security on how the Bill should proceed.
3. GOAN compiled all the essential documentation that emanated from the meetings which serves as briefing document for the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee, Dr Paul Ludik, to the Honourable Deputy Minister which is scheduled for Monday 21.2.2020.
4. Essentially three domains regarding the Bill were identified that require further attention, being:
a) the correction of typographical and semantical errors that alters the meaning of the Bill;
b) inclusion of certain definitions to avoid errors in interpretation of the actual intention;
c) contemplation on how to introduce certain practical requirements on which the implementation of the Bill depends on as well as finalising certain regulations that will be essential to make the Bill operational.
5. It is especially point b) and c) that provides certain challenges with the enactment of the Bill – if regard is taken to the fact that the Bill has already been signed by the President. The Ministry of Justice is still busy investigating the options that are necessary to activate the Bill. 6. The Bill is primarily directed to support better administration of the criminal justice system and being compliant with international treaties. Its intention is not to disarm accountable gun owners who are compliant with the law.
7. GOAN, its members and its affiliates will be seen as partners to the Ministry of Safety and Security to establish a functional system that will safeguard responsible Namibian private gun ownership in the future.
8. It is not envisaged that the implementation of the Bill will follow the same route as in South Africa due to a fundamentally different approach which recognises dialogue and deliberations on matters of concern (rather than confrontation and legal battles) and demands operational efficiency and accountability from the lawmaker within the recently established performance culture of the Ministry. At the same time there is an obligation on gun owners to comply with the provisions of the law, which we believe will be possible.
9. Matters of concern regarding ballistic testing, shooting off ammunition within the specified time frame and ammunition limits on the bona fide group have been addressed with possible suggestions how to address the points of contention. Further feedback is expected once the relevant stake holders within the Ministry of Safety and Security and Ministry of Justice have been consulted.
10. GOAN has played a pivotal role in creating a platform of communication with the Ministry of Safety and Security that was absent in the past. Through reasoned and constructive engagement many potential pitfalls were addressed. Through support of and upholding GOAN membership, responsible gun owners, their federations, associations and other bodies remain crucial role players to safeguard the future of private gun ownership in Namibia.
We will report back on any updates that will be received.