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Chapter 10:09

Firearms Act

Acts 17/1956, 42/1959, 73/1959, 14/1961, 14/1962 (s.2), 13/1966, 57/1972 (s.19), 39/1973 (s.52), 37/1977 (s.21), 41/1978 (s.33), 29/1981 (s.59), 37/1981, 44/1983, 22/2001 (s. 4); R.G.N.s 500/1962, 801/1963, 214/1964, 217/1970, 698/1970, 414/1972.

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I

PRELIMINARY Section

  1. Short title.

PART II

REGULATION OF PURCHASE, POSSESSION, MANUFACTURE AND SALE OF FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION AND OTHER TRANSACTIONS

  1. Firearms and ammunition to which Part II applies.
  2. Penalty for purchasing firearms or ammunition without firearm certificate.
  3. Grant of firearm certificate.
  4. Holder of firearm certificate to notify change of address or occupation.
  5. Fees in respect of firearm certificates.
  6. Exemptions from holding firearm certificate.
  7. Power to refuse firearm certificate or permit unless firearm produced for inspection and marking.
  8. Restrictions on manufacture of ammunition.
  9. Restrictions on manufacture of firearms.
  10. Production of firearm certificate.
  11. Production of firearms and ammunition.
  12. Penalty for dealing in firearms without being registered.
  13. Registration of firearms dealers.
  14. Certificates of registration.
  15. Registrations of places of business of firearms dealers.
  16. Restrictions on sale and repair of firearms and ammunition.
  17. Register of transactions for firearms and ammunition.
  18. Powers of court in case of offence by registered firearms dealers.
  19. Penalty for taking in pawn firearms or ammunition.
  20. Provisions as to converting imitation firearms into firearms.

PART III

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS AS TO FIREARMSAND AMMUNITION

  1. Special provisions relating to certain types of weapons and ammunition.
  2. Removal and transportation of firearms and ammunition within Zimbabwe.
  3. Restrictions on possession of firearms and ammunition by young persons.
  4. Penalties for improper use of firearms.
  5. Safeguarding of firearms and ammunition.
  6. Loss of firearm or ammunition to be reported.
  7. Safeguarding stocks of firearms and ammunition in possession of dealers.

PART IV

GENERAL

  1. Provisions as to forfeiture of firearms and cancellation of certificates.
  2. Power to search for and dispose of firearms and ammunition.
  3. Information regarding firearms.
  4. Power to enter premises and obtain information.
  5. Penalty for obstructing police officer.
  6. Appeals under Part II or III.
  7. Keeping of central register.
  8. Appointment of Controller and delegation of powers.
  9. Service of notices.
  10. Reciprocal recognition of certificates issued in neighbouring countries or territories.
  11. State not bound.

AN ACT to make provision for regulating and controlling the possession, sale, repair and manufacture of firearms and ammunition; and to provide for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto.

[Date of commencement: 1st January, 1957.]

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1    Short title

This Act may be cited as the Firearms Act [Chapter 10:09].

                       2    Interpretation

In this Act—

“acquiring” means hiring, accepting as a gift and borrowing;

“ammunition” means—

  • ammunition for any firearm;
  • grenades, bombs and any other like missiles, whether capable of use with a firearm or not; but does not include any signalling apparatus or missiles therefor, other than missiles for the type of signalling apparatus known as a Verey Pistol;

“Controller” means the Controller of Firearms appointed in terms of section thirty-eight and includes any person to whom the Controller has, in terms of subsection (2) of that section, delegated his functions;

“firearm” means—

  • any lethal barrelled weapon of any description from which any shot, bullet or any other missile can be discharged or which can be adapted for the discharge of any such shot, bullet or any other missile;
  • the barrel, bolt and chamber or any other essential component part of any such weapon as afore-

said;

but does not include any signalling apparatus, other than the type of signalling apparatus known as a Verey Pistol;

“firearm certificate” means a firearm certificate granted under section six;

“firearms dealer” means a person who by way of trade or business sells, transfers, repairs, tests or proves firearms or ammunition;

“Minister” means the Minister of Home Affairs or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;

“signalling apparatus” means a device which is designed or customarily used for safety purposes or to signal distress;

“slaughtering instrument” means a firearm which is specially designed or adapted for the instantaneous slaughter of animals or for the instantaneous stunning of animals with a view to slaughtering them; “transferring” includes letting on hire, giving, lending and parting with possession.

PART II

REGULATIONOF PURCHASE, POSSESSIONMANUFACTURE AND SALE OF FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION AND OTHER TRANSACTIONS

                       3     Firearms and ammunition to which Part II applies

  • This Part shall apply to all firearms as defined in section two, except an air-gun, air-rifle or air-pistol which is not of a type declared by the Minister, by statutory instrument, to be specially dangerous and the component parts of any such weapon.
  • This Part shall apply to all ammunition as defined in section two, except ammunition for an air-gun or airrifle or air-pistol which is not of a type declared by the Minister in terms of subsection (1) to be specially dangerous.

                       4    Penalty for purchasing firearms or ammunition without firearm certificate

  • Subject to this Act, no person shall purchase, acquire or have in his possession any firearm or ammunition unless he holds a firearm certificate in respect thereof in force at the time.
  • Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level ten or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[Subsection substituted by section 4 of Act No. 22 of 2001]

  • ….

[Subsection repealed by section 4 of Act No. 22 of 2001]

  • If any person—
  • purchases, acquires or has in his possession any ammunition without holding a firearm certificate in respect thereof in force at the time or in quantities in excess of those authorized by such firearm certificate; or
  • has in his possession any firearm or ammunition otherwise than as authorized by a firearm certificate in respect thereof in force at the time; or
  • fails to comply with any conditions subject to which a firearm certificate is held by him; he shall, subject to this Act, be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level six or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[Subsection as amended by section 4 of Act No. 22 of 2001]

  • In any prosecution for an offence in terms of subsection (2), it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is shown, that the firearm in respect of which the offence was committed was manufactured on or after the 1st January, 1900.
  • Notwithstanding any other enactment, a court of a regional, provincial or senior magistrate shall have special jurisdiction on summary trial or on remittal by the Attorney-General of the case for trial or sentence, to impose any sentence required or permitted to be imposed by this section.

                       5    Grant of firearm certificate

  • An application for the grant of a firearm certificate shall be made in such manner as may be prescribed.
  • The firearm certificate shall be granted by the Controller if he is satisfied that the applicant has a good reason for purchasing, acquiring or having in his possession the firearm or ammunition in respect of which the application is made, and can be permitted to have in his possession that firearm or ammunition without danger to the public safety or to the peace:

Provided that a firearm certificate shall not be granted to a person whom the Controller has reason to believe to be prohibited by or under this Act from possessing a firearm or to be of intemperate habits or unsound mind or to be for any reason unfitted to be entrusted with such firearm.

  • A firearm certificate granted under this section shall be in the prescribed form and shall specify the conditions, if any, subject to which it is held, the nature and the number of the firearm to which it relates, and, as respects ammunition, the quantities authorized to be purchased and to be held at any one time thereunder.
  • One certificate may be issued for both a firearm and the ammunition for such firearm, but a separate firearm certificate shall be required for each firearm.
  • Unless previously revoked in terms of subsection (8) or cancelled by order of court, a firearm certificate shall be valid for three years, calculated from the first day of the month in which it was issued, and may, on application to the Controller, be renewed from time to time for further such three-year periods.
  • Any person who applies for the renewal of a firearm certificate in terms of subsection (5) shall, if so required, produce the firearm to which the firearm certificate relates for inspection or testing by the Controller or any person specified by the Controller.
  • A firearm certificate may, on the application of the holder thereof, be varied from time to time by the Controller.
  • A firearm certificate may be revoked by the Controller if he is satisfied that the holder thereof is of intemperate habits or of unsound mind or is otherwise unfitted to be entrusted with the firearm to which the firearm certificate relates or no longer has a good reason for possessing that firearm.
  • In any case where a firearm certificate is revoked by the Controller he shall, by notice in writing, require the holder to surrender the firearm certificate, and if the holder fails to do so within fourteen days from the date of the notice he shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding fifty dollars:

Provided that, where an appeal is brought against the revocation, this subsection shall not apply to that revocation unless the appeal is abandoned or dismissed, and shall in that case have effect as if, for the reference to the date of the notice, there were substituted a reference to the date on which the appeal was abandoned or dismissed.

  • If any person makes any statement which he knows to be false for the purpose of procuring, whether for himself or any other person, the grant of a firearm certificate under this section or the variation or renewal of a firearm certificate, he shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level six or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[Subsection as amended by section 4 of Act No. 22 of 2001]

                       6     Holder of firearm certificate to notify change of address or occupation

(1) Any person who holds a firearm certificate shall notify the Controller of— (a) any change in his address; or

(b) any change in his occupation, unless the change does not materially alter the circumstances in which he is likely to use the firearm concerned; within twenty-one days of any such change.

(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level three or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one month or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[Subsection as amended by section 4 of Act No. 22 of 2001]

                       7    Fees in respect of firearms certificates

(1) Subject to this section, there shall be payable on the—

  • grant or renewal of a firearm certificate, such fee as may be prescribed not exceeding—
    • one hundred dollars where the firearm certificate is granted or renewed in respect of a firearm described in section twenty-four;
    • twenty dollars where the firearm certificate is granted or renewed in respect of a firearm other than a firearm described in section twenty-four;
    • ten dollars where the firearm certificate is granted or renewed in respect of ammunition only;
  • replacement of a firearm certificate which has been lost or destroyed, such fee, not exceeding four dollars, as may be prescribed.
  • No fee shall be payable on the grant to any responsible officer of a gun club, rifle club or miniature rifle club of a firearm certificate in respect of firearms or ammunition to be used solely for target practice by the members of the club or on the renewal of any such firearm certificate.
  • No fee shall be payable on the grant or renewal of a firearm certificate if the Controller is satisfied that the firearm certificate relates solely to a slaughtering instrument or ammunition therefor which the applicant requires for the purpose of the slaughter of animals.

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