The Minister of Justice herewith makes the following announcement:
At the time, the Ministry of Justice put all requests for renewal of authorization (i.e. licenses) for possession of (fire)arms on hold, pending the adoption of a new restrictive weapons policy and the establishment of a Weapons Advisory Committee that is to advise the Minister on the applications received.
The new weapons policy was adopted in November 2016, and was subsequently published in the National Gazette of November 25, 2016 ("Nota Policies 2016", National Gazette, 2016 No. 23). The policy is also available for perusal at the secretariat of the Ministry of Justice on the A.Th. Illidge Road 8 in Philipsburg.
Meanwhile, the Weapons Advisory Committee set up by the Minister of Justice, in which the Public Prosecutor's Office and the Police are represented, started the process of handling the large number of applications for permission to carry a weapon.
The Minister wishes to prevent that persons, whose firearms have been registered with the Police and who have proof of having submitted a request for renewal of their weapons’ permit but who, while awaiting a decision on their application are still in possession of their firearm due to the delay in decision making, run the risk of being fined and prosecuted for illegal weapon possession.
Therefore, the Minister grants these persons, after consulting with and obtaining the consent of the Weapons Advisory Committee, from the date of this notice until the date on which a decision is made on their application, but no later than December 31st, 2017, a license to have that firearm in their possession. This general license is deemed to have been granted under the same conditions as under which they have been previously granted a license for the firearm.
The public is hereby informed that anyone who is in possession of a gun or ammunition without being licensed to do so, should hand over the gun to the police under the Firearms Ordinance. Also, if a license holder dies, his survivors must hand over the firearm as well as the ammunition, to the police.