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The LPH Companion – Firearms, Part 6: Firearms & The Law

 by Gianne Bauce

Firearms in Zimbabwe are regulated by an Act of Parliament called Firearms Act, Chapter 10:09 of 2016, formally described as “an Act to make provision for regulating and controlling the possession, sale, repair and manufacture of firearms and ammunition”.

Interpretation of Terms

Section 1 of the Firearm Act [Chapter 10:09] provides the legal interpretation of terms used in the Act. (Questions on the Firearms Paper or Law Paper often ask for the legal interpretation of words which have general meaning, like “acquiring”.)

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

“ammunition” means:

  1. ammunition for any firearm;
  2. 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 therefore, other than missiles for the type of signalling apparatus known as a Verey Pistol.

“Controller” means the Controller of Firearms appointed [usually from amongst retired Police officers by the Commissioner of Police] 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:

  1. any lethal barrelled weapon of any description from which a 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;
  2. the barrel, bolt and chamber or any other essential component part of any such weapon as aforesaid.

But does not include any signalling apparatus, other than missiles for the type of signalling apparatus known as a Verey Pistol.

firearm certificate” means a firearm certificate granted under Section Six [by the Controller of Firearms].

firearm dealer” means a person who by way of trade or business sells, transfers, repairs, tests or proves firearms or ammunitions.

“Minister” means the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act [Firearms Act, Chapter 10:09].

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.

“unauthorised person” means any person other than the person lawfully entitled under the Firearms Act [Chapter 10:09] to possess that particular firearm or ammunition.

KEY SECTIONS OF THE ACT

Below you will find some of the sections of the Act most relevant to the Firearms Paper.

N.B. After this section in which the legislation is laid out in formal legal language you will find a section of summaries of the provisions in chart form and simple language.

FROM “Part II” of Firearms Act, Chapter 10:09

3. Firearms and ammunition to which Part II applies

[…]1

(1) 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.

(2) This Part shall apply to all ammunition as defined in section two, except ammunition for an air-gun, air-rifle or air-pistol which is not of a type declared by the Minister in term of subsection (1) to be specially dangerous.

[…]

5. Grant of firearm certificate

(1) An application for the grant of a firearm certificate shall be made in such manner as may be prescribed.

(2) 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 possession that 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.

(3) […]

(4) 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.

(5) 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 period.

(6) 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.

(7) A firearm certificate may, on the application of the holder thereof, be varied from time to time by the Controller.

(8) 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.

[…]

8. Exemption from holding Firearm Certificate

(1) […]

(2) […]

(3) A person carrying on the business of a firearm dealer and registered as such under this Act or an employee of such a person may, without holding a firearm certificate, purchase, acquire or have in his possession a firearm or ammunition in the ordinary course of that business.

(4) A person carrying on the business of an auctioneer, carrier or storage contractor or an employee of such a person may, without holding a firearm certificate, have in his possession a firearm or ammunition in the ordinary course of that business.

(5) A person may, without holding a firearm certificate, have in his possession a slaughtering instrument and ammunition therefor in any abattoir if employed in such abattoir.

(6) The proprietor of an abattoir or a person employed by him to take charge of slaughtering instrument and ammunition therefor for the purpose of storing them in safe custody at that abattoir may, without holding a firearm certificate, have in his possession a slaughtering instrument or ammunition therefor for that purpose.

(7) A person may, without holding a firearm certificate:-

(a) have in his possession a signalling apparatus of the type known as a Verey Pistol or ammunition therefor on board an aircraft or at an aerodrome as part of the equipment of the aircraft or aerodrome, and

(b) remove a signalling apparatus of the type known as a Verey Pistol or ammunition therefor, being part of the equipment of an aircraft, from one aircraft to another at an aerodrome or from or to an aircraft at an aerodrome to or from a place appointed for the storage thereof in safe custody at the aerodrome, and keep any such apparatus or ammunition at such a place: and

(c) if he has obtained from the Controller a permit for the purpose in the prescribed form, remove a signalling apparatus of the type known as a Verey Pistol from or to an aircraft or aerodrome in or from such place and for such purpose as may be specified in the permit.

(8) Any person may, without holding a firearm certificate:-

(a) have in his possession a signalling apparatus of the type known as a Verey Pistol and missiles therefor, on board a boat on Lake Kariba or a harbour at Lake Kariba as part of the equipment of the boat or harbour, and

(b) remove a signalling apparatus of the type known as a Verey Pistol and missiles therefor, being part of the equipment of a boat on Lake Kariba, from one boat to another at a harbour at Lake Kariba or from or to a boat at such a harbour to or from a place appointed for the storage thereof in safe custody at that harbour, and keep any such apparatus and missiles at such a place

(c) and if he has obtained from the Controller a permit for the purpose in the prescribed form, remove a signalling apparatus of the type known as a Verey Pistol from or to a boat on Lake Kariba or harbour at Lake Kariba to or from such place and for such purpose as may be specified in the permit.

(10) A member of a gun club, rifle club or miniature rifle club may, without holding a firearm certificate, have in his possession a firearm or ammunition therefor when engaged as such member in or in connection with target practice.

(13) Any person may, without holding a firearm certificate, have a firearm in his possession at an athletic or other sporting meeting for the purpose of starting races at the meeting.

(14) A person who is employed for the purpose of safeguarding persons or property and who is a member of a class of persons prescribed for the purposes of that subsection may, without holding a firearm certificate and subject to such conditions as may prescribed, have in his possession any firearm and ammunition belonging to his employer and for which his employer holds a firearm certificate when he is engaged on his duties.

(15) An immigrant or bona fide visitor to Zimbabwe who has obtained from custom officer a certificate in the prescribed form relating to any firearm or ammunition that he has brought with him into Zimbabwe may, without holding a firearm certificate, have in his possession any firearm or ammunition described in that certificate for such period, not exceeding three months, as may be specified in that certificate. Providing that such an immigrant or visitor may at any time have the validity of a certificate issued in terms of this subsection extended by the Controller.

(16) A person may, without holding a firearm certificate, have in his possession within his residence or place of business a firearm and ammunition in respect of which his spouse holds a firearm certificate.

(17) A person may, without holding a firearm certificate, have in his possession a firearm and ammunition issued to him by a municipal council, town council, local board or rural district council for the purpose of vermin control.

(18) The executor of a deceased estate may, without holding a firearm certificate, have in his possession any firearm and ammunition belonging to the deceased person.

(19) A client of a tour operator who:-

(a) conducts hunting safaris for tourists and

(b) is licensed in terms of the Tourism Act [Chapter 14:20]

may, without holding a firearm certificate, have in his possession during a hunting safari, any firearm and ammunition in respect of which the tour operator holds a firearm certificate, if the client is accompanied by and uses the firearm and ammunition under the direction of the person who holds the firearm certificate.

(20) A person who, in accordance with a written agreement with the State, has been provided with firearm and ammunition belonging to the State may, without holding a firearm certificate, possess the firearm and ammunition in accordance with the term and condition of the agreement.

(21) A person who has obtained from the Controller a permit for the purpose in the prescribed form may, without holding a firearm certificate, have in his possession a firearm and ammunition in accordance with the term of the permit.

Provided that no such permit shall be issued in respect of or be valid for a period not exceeding three months and any such permit may at any time be revoked by the Controller if he is satisfied that the holder would not, on application, be granted a firearm certificate in respect of such a firearm or ammunition.

(22) Where the Controller revokes a permit under subsection (21), he shall, by notice in writing, require the holder of the permit to surrender it, and if the holder fails to surrender it within fourteen days from the date of the notice he 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 both such fine and such imprisonment.

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.

(23) 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 or renewal of a permit under subsection (21), 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 or such imprisonment.

(24) Any person referred to in subsection (14) who contravenes any conditions referred to in that subsection shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level five or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or to both such fine or such imprisonment.

9. Power to refuse firearm certificate or permit unless firearm produced for inspection and marking

(1) Notwithstanding anything in section Three or Eight, the Controller may refuse to grant a firearm certificate or a permit in terms of subsection (21) of section eight unless the firearm to which such firearm certificate or permit will, if granted, relate is produced to him or to a person specified by him for inspection or testing and for marking if necessary in accordance with the requirements of subsection (2).

(2) No firearm certificate and no permit in terms of subsection (21) of section eight shall be granted in respect of a firearm unless such firearm bears a mark or number of identification or is first marked with such a mark or number by or under and in accordance with the direction of the Controller.

[…]

12. Production of firearm certificate

(1) Any Police Officer may demand from any person whom he believes to be in possession of a firearm or ammunition his name and address and the production of his firearm certificate relating thereto.

(2) If any person upon whom a demand is made in terms of subsection (1) fails, within seven days thereafter, to produce the certificate or to permit the officer to read the certificate or to show that he is entitled by virtue of this Act to have the firearm or ammunition in his possession without holding a firearm certificate, the officer may seize and detain the firearm or ammunition.

(3) If any person refuses to declare his name and address or fails to give his true name and address, he shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level five or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or to both such fine or such imprisonment.

13. Production of firearm and ammunition

(1) Any Police Officer may demand from any person who holds a firearm certificate or permit under subsection (21) of section eight the production of any firearm or ammunition to which such certificate or permit relates at such time and place as such officer may specify for his own inspection or for the inspection of such other police officer as he may specify.

(2) If any person fails to comply with a demand in terms of subsection (1), he shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level five or to imprisonment not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

14. Penalty for dealing in firearms without being registered

(1) Subject to this section, no person shall, by way of trade or business:-

(a) sell, transfer, repair, test or prove; or

(b) accept for sale or transfer or have in his possession for sale, transfer, repair, test or proof;

any firearm or ammunition unless he is registered under this Act as firearm dealer.

Provided that it shall be lawful for an auctioneer to sell by auction, and have in his possession for sale by auction, a firearm or ammunition without being registered as aforesaid if he has obtained from the Controller a permit for that purpose in the prescribed form and complies with the terms of the permit.

(2) If any person contravenes subsection (1) or make any statement which he knows to be false for the purpose of procuring, whether for himself or for any other person, the grant of a permit under subsection (1), he shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level nine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or to both such fine or such imprisonment.

[…]

18. Restriction on sale and repair of firearms and ammunition

(1) No person shall sell or transfer to any other person in Zimbabwe, other than registered firearms dealer, any firearm or ammunition unless that other person produces a firearm certificate authorizing him to purchase or acquire it or shows that he is, by virtue of this Act, entitled to purchase it or, as the case may be, to acquire it by means of such transfer without holding such certificate.

Providing that this subsection shall not be construed so as to prevent

  1. a person parting with the possession of a firearm or ammunition otherwise than in pursuance of a contract of sale or hire or by way of a gift or loan to a person who shows that he is, by virtue of this Act, entitled to have possession of the firearm or ammunition without holding a firearm certificate; or
  2. the delivery of a firearm or ammunition by a carrier or storage contractor or an employee of a carrier or storage contractor in the ordinary course of this business or employment as such.

(2) No person shall undertake the repair, test or proof of a firearm or ammunition for any other person in Zimbabwe, other than a registered firearm dealer as such, unless that other person produces or causes to be produced a firearm certificate authorizing him to have possession of the firearm or ammunition without holding such certificate. Providing that this subsection shall not be construed so as to prevent

  1. a person parting with the possession of a firearm or ammunition otherwise than in pursuance of a contract of sale or hire or by way of a gift or loan to a person who shows that he is, by virtue of this Act, entitled to have possession of the firearm or ammunition without holding a firearm certificate; or
  2. the delivery of a firearm or ammunition by a carrier or storage contractor or an employee of a carrier or storage contractor in the ordinary course of this business or employment as such.
[…]

19. Register of transaction for firearms and ammunition

(1) Any person who, by way of trade or business, deals in sells or transfers firearms or ammunition shall provide and keep a register of transactions in the prescribed form and shall enter or cause to be entered therein such particulars as may be prescribed.

(2)Any such entry shall be made within twenty-four hours after the transaction to which it relates took place and, in the case of a sale or transfer, the person referred to in subsection (1) shall, at the time of the transaction, require the purchaser or transferee to furnish particulars sufficient for identification, and shall immediately enter the said particulars in the register.

[…]

21. Penalty for taking in pawn firearms or ammunition

No person shall take any firearm or ammunition in pawn for any other person.

  • If any person contravenes subsection (1) he shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level four or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

22. Provision as to converting imitation firearm into firearms

(1) No person shall:-

(a) convert into a firearm anything which, though having the appearance of being a firearm, is so constructed as to be incapable of discharging any missile through the barrel thereof; or

(b) convert any firearm in such a manner that is pressure is applied to the trigger, missiles continue to be discharged until pressure is removed from the trigger or the magazine containing the missiles is empty; or fit onto any firearm a silencing device; or alter the length or bore of any firearm; or

(c) fit onto any firearm a silencing device; or

(d) alter the length or bore of any firearm; or

(e) destroy any firearm;

without having obtained the written permission of the Controller.

(2) If any person contravene subsection (1) 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.

[…]

FROM “Part III” of Firearms Act, Chapter 10:09

24. Special provision relating to certain types of weapons and ammunition

(1) Subject to subsection (7), it shall not be lawful for any person other than a person in the service of State in his capacity as such or a person authorized in writing in that behalf by the Minister or a person of a class for the time being authorized in that behalf by the Minister by notice in a statutory instrument, to sell, transfer, purchase, acquire or have in his possession:-

(a) any firearm which is so designed or adapted that is pressure is applied to the trigger, missiles continue to be discharged until pressure is removed from the trigger or the magazine containing the missiles is empty; or

(b) any weapon of whatever description designed or adapted for the discharge of any noxious liquid, gas or similar thing; or

(c) any ammunition containing or designed or adapted to contain any such noxious thing; or

(d) any firearm or ammunition specified or any firearm or ammunition of a class or type specified by the Minister, by notice in a statutory instrument; or

(e) any silencing device for a firearm.

(2) If any person contravene subsection (1) he shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level ten or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five year or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[…]

26. Restriction on possession of firearms and ammunition by young persons

(1) No person under the age of sixteen years shall purchase or hire any firearm or ammunition, and no person shall sell or let on hire any firearm or ammunition to any other person whom he knows or has reasonable grounds for believing to be under the age of sixteen years.

(2) No person under the age of fourteen years shall have in his possession any firearm or ammunition to which Part II applies, and no person shall give or lend any firearm or ammunition to any other person whom he knows or has reasonable grounds for believing to be under the age of fourteen years.

(3) No person under the age of fourteen years shall have in his possession any firearm or ammunition to which Part II applies except in circumstances where he is entitled to have possession thereof without holding a firearm certificate by virtue of subsection (9), (10) or (11) of Section Eight, and no person shall part with the possession of any such firearm or ammunition to any other person whom he knows or has reasonable grounds for believing to be under the age of fourteen years except in circumstances where that other person is entitled to have possession thereof as aforesaid.

(4) If any person contravenes this section, 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.

27. Penalties for improper use of firearms

Any person who:-

(a) while carrying a firearm, is under the influence of alcohol or drugs to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of such firearm or behaves in disorderly manner; or

(b) knowingly and without lawful cause, points a firearm at any other person; or

(c) negligently or recklessly discharges a firearm in or upon public place;

shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level seven or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

28. Safeguarding of firearms and ammunition

(1) […]

(2) Any person having in his possession any firearm or ammunition, shall take all such precautions as may be reasonably necessary to prevent such firearms or ammunition falling into the possession of any unauthorised person and shall comply with such security measures, both with regard to the safekeeping thereof and the condition in which it may be kept, as may be prescribed.

(3) When in any prosecution under this section it is alleged in any indictment, summons or charge that all such precautions as were reasonably necessary to prevent a firearm or ammunition from falling into the possession of an unauthorised person were not taken or that any security measure prescribed was not complied with, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, that all such precaution were not taken or that such security measure was not complied with, as the case may be.

(4) Where any firearm or ammunition is lost or stolen, it shall presumed, unless the contrary is proved, that it has fallen into the possession of an unauthorised person.

[…]

29. Loss of firearm or ammunition to be reported

(1) Any person having possession of a firearm or ammunition, whether or not he holds a firearm certificate therefor or is entitled to have possession thereof without holding a firearm certificate, shall, if such firearm or ammunition becomes lost, stolen or destroyed, report such loss, theft or destruction, as the case may be, as soon as is reasonably practicable and in any event within twenty-four hours after its occurrence, at the nearest police station.

(2) If any person fails to comply with subsection (1) 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.

[…]

38. Appointment of Controller and delegation of powers

(1) The Commissioner of Police shall, for the purposes of this Act [Firearms Act, Chapter 10:09], appoint a police officer to be the Controller of Firearms.

(2) The Controller may, with the approval of the Commissioner of Police, by notice in the Gazette,

(a) delegate any of his functions in terms of this Act in such person as may be specified in that notice, subject to such conditions as may be specified therein.

(b) withdraw any delegation or vary any conditions imposed in terms of paragraph (a).

……………………………………………………………………………

 

Minimum Calibre & Energy Requirements for Hunting Game

In addition to being familiar with the provisions of the Firearms Act it is essential that you are familiar with Statutory Instrument 362 of 1990 which defines the minimum requirements of a weapon’s calibre and energy to legally hunt a given species of animal.  Game species are grouped into seven different groups, called Parts A, B, C, D, E, F, and G, according to the minimum firearm requirements prescribed by law.

PART A:

Any person who hunts any animal specified in Part A shall use a weapon having a rifled barrel and propelling a projectile of not less than 9,2 mm in diameter, with not less than 5.3 kilojoules of energy at the muzzle.

AnimalCalibreEnergy at the muzzle (kj)Type of barrel bore
(mm)(inches)
Hippopotamus  9.2  .362  5.3  RIFLED
Elephant
Rhinoceros

* The word “HER” helps to remember the three thick-skinned animals specified in class “A” (Hippo, Elephant and Rhino).

PART B:

Any person who hunts any animal specified in Part B shall use a weapon having a rifled barrel and propelling a projectile of not less than 7 mm in diameter, with not less than 4.3 kilojoules of energy at the muzzle.

AnimalCalibreEnergy at the muzzle (kj)Type of barrel bore
(mm)(inches)
Lion  7  .275  4.3  RIFLED
Eland
Giraffe

* The word “LEG” helps to remember the three thin-skinned and dangerous animals specified in class “B” (Lion, Eland and Giraffe). 

PART C:

Any person who hunts any animal specified in Part C shall use a weapon having a rifled barrel and propelling a projectile of not less than 7 mm in diameter, with not less than 3 kilojoules of energy at the muzzle.

AnimalCalibreEnergy at the muzzle (kj)Type of barrel bore
(mm)(inches)
Blesbok                7                .275                3                RIFLED
Cheetah
Crocodile
Gemsbok
Hyena – brown & spotted
Hartebeest, Cape & Lichtenstein’s
Kudu
Leopard
Nyala
Roan
Sable
Tsessebe
Waterbuck
Wildebeest
Zebra
PART D:

Any person who hunts any animal specified in Part D shall use a weapon having a rifled barrel and propelling a projectile of not less than 5.6 mm in diameter, with not less than 850 kilojoules of energy at the muzzle.

AnimalCalibreEnergy at the muzzle (j)Type of barrel bore
(mm)(inches)
     
Bushbuck      5.6      .22      850      RIFLED
Bushpig
Impala
Reedbuck
Sitatunga
Wild Dog
Warthog
PART E:

The Statutory Instrument 362, 1990 has been amended by the Statutory Instrument 114, 2019 in which the buffalo has been removed from Part A and inserted in this Part E – specifically in relation to Bow hunting.

  • Any person who hunts a buffalo, as specified in “Part E” shall use a modern compound bow or traditional bow with a minimum draw-weight bow-and-arrow combination capable of producing a minimum of 80 ft-lbs of kinetic energy.
  • Arrow must be modern arrow either aluminium, carbon, graphite or combination, with a minimum weight of 600 Grains.
  • No mechanical broad-head can be used. Broad-head should be of single bladed construction, with 2 cutting edges and non replaceable blades with a minimum cutting length of 30 mm.

* Bow-hunts should be accompanied by a qualified professional hunter with previous bow-hunting experience in dangerous game.

AnimalBow typeKinetic energy (ft-lbs)Arrow materialsArrow broad-headTotal arrow weight (Grn)Min. cutting length (mm)
  BuffaloModern compound or traditional  80Aluminium, graphite, carbon, combinationSingle bladed with 2 cutting edges < 90o  600  30
PART F:

Any person who hunts any animal not specified in Parts A, B, C, D and E shall use a weapon having:

  1. A rifled barrel and propelling a projectile of not less than 5.4 mm in diameter, with not less than 850 j of energy at the muzzle.
  2. A smooth barrel weapon with an internal barrel diameter of not less than 15 mm and propelling shots of an average diameter of not less than 5 mm.
AnimalType of barrel boreCalibre (inch) or Gauge (mm)Energy at the muzzle (j)Grain average diameter (mm)
All animals not specified in Part A, B, C, D and ERIFLED5.6850N.A.
SMOOTH15N.A.5
PART G:

Any person who hunts any bird shall use a weapon having:

  1. A rifled barrel and propelling a projectile of not less than 150 j of energy at the muzzle.
  2. A smooth barrel weapon.
AnimalType of barrel boreEnergy at the muzzle (j)
BirdsRIFLED150
SMOOTHN.A.

 SUMMARIES OF FIREARMS LEGALTIES

Holding A Firearms Certificate – Who Can or Cannot or Does Not Need To

ActivityWho
Who can be granted of a firearm certificate?  Any person who:
Has a good reason to have one
Is fit to have one
Has temperate habits
Has a sound mind
Is 16 years of age or above
Who cannot be granted of a firearm certificate?Any person who:
Has not a good reason to have one
Is not fit to have one
Has intemperate habits
Has an unsound mind
Is under 16 years of age
Firearm certificate can be revoked (withdrawn) from?Any person who:
Has no longer a good reason to have one
Is no longer fit to have one
Has developed intemperate habits
Has developed an unsound mind
Is deprived of the certificate by decision of Court.
When can one possess of a firearm without a firearm certificate?    If the firearm is :
– a Verey Pistol/signalling apparatus or starting pistol for athletic events
– a miniature rifle not exceeding 5.59mm calibre, commonly known as a “2.2”
If the possessor of the firearm is:
– A spouse of a certificate holder, within the residence or business place
– Under firearms instruction by a licence holder
– A registered firearm dealer or their employee
– An auctioneer, carrier or storage contractor or their employee
– An  immigrant or bona fide visitor to Zimbabwe (for up to 3 months)
– An operator of vermin control employed by municipal, town, local board or rural district council
– The executor of a deceased estate, holding the deceased’s firearm(s)
– A client of a licensed hunting/tour operator
– A person under contract to the State, in possession of a State firearm certificate (e.g.: policeman, soldier, etc.)
– An actor engaged in theatrical or movie performance
– Employee of a security/safeguarding company that holds certificates
– Someone given permission by the Controller of Firearms

Time-Frames to Comply with Legal Obligations

ObligationUnitWithin
Inform of change of addressdays21
Inform of change of occupationdays21
Inform of loss of firearm and/or ammunitionhours24
Surrender of firearm certificate where it has been revokeddays14
Production of firearm certificate or permit upon request of any Police Officerdays7
Entry of firearm or ammunition transaction in the Registerhours24

Firearms Prohibited in Zimbabwe

  • Automatics (firing many rounds with one press of the trigger
  • Weapons discharging noxious gas/liquid,
  • Weapons with silencing devices

Period of Validity of Firearm Certificates

CertificateWho can obtain itFrom Whom  Valid for
Firearm CertificateAnyone with good reason and if the Controller is satisfiedController3 years
Temporary Firearm CertificateImmigrant or bona fide visitor in Zimbabwe (e.g.: a foreign hunters)Customs officer3 months
Permit from the Controller without holding a firearm certificateAnyoneController3 months

To be provided when applying for a Firearms Certificate

  • Name (1st & surname)
  • National Registration (age – at least 18 years old on the date of application)
  • Residential address
  • Type and calibre of weapon
  • Valid Police Clearance based on a finger-print form to show no criminal record
    Doctor’s report to show health and mental stability
  • Gun safety/ballistics check certificate from Central Firearms Registry
  • Learner/Professional Hunter/Guide licence (if appropriate)
  • Copy of original certificate (New application – ID of seller)

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

The Firearms Act and supporting Statutory Instruments have been carefully developed and improved since the 1960s to regulate all matters concerning firearms and ammunition so as to achieve the maximum protection for society from the potentially fatal effects of firearms.

  1. [….] When you see these marks it means that a section of the legislation has been left out here – because you do not need to study it for the LPH examinations. ↩︎
Gianni Bauce

Gee Bauce - Safari guide specialising in guiding for Italian parties, and author of books on a wide variety of topics, including LPH support material.

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