Cabinet Decision 7/04 gave approval for the revision of the policy and procedures relating to the issuing and renewing of the firearm licenses, the establishment of the Firearm Licensing Authority for carrying out related functions, the allocation of funds for the acquisition of new technology for the operation of the Authority, and the issuance of the drafting instructions to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel to amend the Firearms Act accordingly.
The Firearms Act in its previous form came into being in 1947 (revised1967) in a vastly different environment than obtains today. Its objective was primarily to control the manufacture, sale, purchase, importation, exportation, transshipment, disposal, possession and use of firearms and ammunition.
Under the Act, individuals were permitted to own and use firearms and ammunition after applications to the Superintendent were approved. Unsuccessful applicants had the right to appeal to the Minister of National Security who would convene a hearing on the matter.
On March 1st, 2006 the Firearm Amendment Act (2005) came into operation, and with it, the Firearm Licensing Authority was established as a statutory organization within the Ministry of National Security.
The main objective of the new policy, implemented through the Firearm Licensing Authority, is to improve the transparency in the process of granting firearm licenses and the introduction of a regime that will allow for professional, careful and timely procedures to facilitate the application and issuing of firearm licenses.