HuntEx and the journey forward

The Cape HuntEx saga has come to an end.

After long, hard, and vigorous negotiations a workable compromise has finally been reached. HuntEx will allow people to EDC unmolested, and they will in turn sign an indemnity form and vow to keep their weapons holstered unless needed for legitimate self-defence reasons.

Gunsite South Africa has provided an extensive press-release that more than adequately covers all the relevant details, so please feel free to follow the link to it, or read it below.

This also does not mark the end of negotiations with HuntEx, and the agreement serves as an interim measure to allow the Cape expo to go ahead whilst keeping the majority of attendees happy. Adrian Woudstra and his team have vowed to continue further negotiation for HuntEx 2015, and I feel confident that reason will prevail. In his words, “We will use our experiences next week to plan for HuntEx 2015.”

This may not be the “victory” that a lot of people were hoping for, but it is in my opinion a common-sense compromise that we can get behind. I want to see this expo succeed for the sake of all of us. I like the fact that a foundation has been laid to continue negotiations for future HuntEx events. I like the fact that EDC people are not going to have their guns subjected to cable ties or fancy locks. I like most of all that this entire drama has helped us create a united front of firearm owners who have been incredibly vocal about our rights, and that so many of us have stepped up to the plate to contribute.

I am proud of the fraternity I am a member of. I feel as if the sky is the limit for us, folks. There are too many people to thank, and again, the Gunsite release below does it best. I think we may just have a bright future with HuntEx.

Without further ado, the press-release:

GunSite would like to announce the conclusion of negotiations between HuntEx and other stakeholders in the South African firearms community regarding visitors carrying firearms at their event.

In brief, HuntEx has agreed to waive their previous restrictions on handgun carriers, and to replace it with the equivalent of an indemnity form in which the carrier pledges to not unholster his firearm for any reason except justified self-defence.

Should the carrier wish to handle his firearm for any other reason, they will only be allowed to do so once it has been made safe at a designated Safety Area under the supervision of an SO.

We would like to thank all the involved stakeholders who have taken part in this process, especially Adriaan Woudstra, HuntEx management, SA Hunters, Gunsite, Hailstorm, CHASA, Kaapjag, GOSA and all the GunSite members (too many to mention) who deemed it important enough to put a voice of support to the efforts of getting an amicable solution to the issue.

A small group of individuals were in constant communication with Adriaan in an effort to resolve the issues, namely Deon Storm (in his personal capacity and on behalf of Hailstorm), Frank Haas (in his personal capacity and on behalf of GunSite), Paul Oxley (in his personal capacity and on behalf Tacshac and GOSA).

Without the relevant parties participating in the rational debate, it is doubtful that we would have managed to achieve the outcome as it stands. This outcome is positive for all firearm owners in general, and it strengthens our collective cohesion.

GunSite believes that Huntex has gone far enough in amending the initial rules for us to accept for the time being at Cape HuntEx . We look forward to further negotiations before Huntex 2015. Our contention still is, supported by Senior Council opinion, that there is no legal liability placed on the Huntex organisers and owners by Act of Parliament or Common Law in respect of visitors carrying firearms and that the ND incident that took place at Huntex 2014 has no bearing in Law on the event or the organisers and owners of Huntex, but we accept the fact that they may feel it morally incumbent on themselves to set the Huntex entry procedures for visitors with firearms

We would encourage all parties to support HuntEx and to assist them in ensuring that it remains a successful venture; we hope too, that it may grow from strength to strength in the future.

We believe that this is a common sense approach to the problem, and one that is in line with the rights of all firearm owners in South Africa.

We as GunSite, and along with the names listed below, would therefore like to announce our support, and we believe that with its implementation HuntEx has succeeded achieving an a amicable compromise which upholds the interests and safety of all attendees at Cape HuntEx.

CHASA,GOSA,Hailstorm, Kaapjag, SADPA, Safari and Outdoor, Tac SHAC,Gunservant.com.*

*due to time constraints it was impossible to contact all people or organisations involved to include their names. This is therefore not a complete list, but represents those we were able to contact.

I have one last question though: since we are all friends again now, am I still going to be banned from HuntEx’s Facebook page? Or are we going to forgive and forget? 🙂

PS. Here follows the new HuntEx proposal, for your reading pleasure.

VISITOR FIREARM SAFETY RULES AT HUNTEX CAPE GAME FAIR

Background
The aim of HuntEx is to promote responsible firearm ownership, sustainable hunting and safe sportshooting in South Africa. It serves as a platform to introduce the wider public to these activities and to provide exposure for related industries.

At HuntEx 2014 held in Midrand in April, a shooting accident occurred that could have cost the life of a child. The child’s father, an experienced and competent gun owner, accidentally discharged his pistol in a toilet cubicle and wounded his 8-year old son in the upper chest. Miraculously, the wound was not fatal and the boy is now fully recovered.

Responsibility
As the organisers of HuntEx, we have to assume responsibility to ensure a safe environment for the public at our events. We are also obliged in terms of Act no 2 of 2010 (Safety and Security at Sports and Recreational Events Act) to take all possible practical measures to prevent a similar incident, or other incidents involving firearms, from happening.

It would therefore have been irresponsible on our part to adopt a “business as usual” approach by not introducing additional safety measures for personal firearms carried by visitors at our subsequent events.

Implementation
After careful consideration, we decided not to impose any ban or prohibition on the carrying of personal firearms at the venue of the HuntEx Cape Game Fair.

No firearm will be removed from the control of its owner.

Before entering the HuntEx Cape Game Fair venue, visitors will be searched. A person carrying a firearm will have the option of not being searched if he/she declares that he/she is carrying.

All visitors (excluding exhibitors) carrying personal firearms will be directed to a designated safety area.

The owner of the firearm will be required to sign a commitment and declaration that he/she will at all times act within the law whilst at the expo and will not consume alcoholic beverages.

The owner of the firearm will be personally responsible for rendering his/her own firearm safe, within the designated safety areas, in accordance with standard range safety protocols, under the supervision of a competent safety officer should he/she intend to show the firearm to an exhibitor for commercial purposes.

In the case of pistols, a loaded magazine may be returned to/reinserted into the firearm once it has been made safe (condition 3).
In the case of all other types of firearms the ammunition may not be returned to/ reinserted into the firearm.

On departing the Fair, visitors with condition 3 carry firearms will be free to return to the designated safety area to reload their firearms.

Visitors who carry and who do not intend to un-holster or show their firearms to an exhibitor will not be required to unload or handle their firearms in the safety area but will be required to sign the declaration.

Conclusion
We look forward to the HuntEx Cape Game Fair to showcase an industry about which we are passionate. We are confident that reasonable, responsible gun owners will understand and support these necessary visitor firearm safety rules to ensure a safe environment for visitors and their families.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s