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APPLICATION PROCESS

FIREARM LICENCES

LEGAL FIREARM OWNERSHIP - OUR FOCUS

SA Hunters promotes and defends responsible firearm ownership within South Africa's legal framework   

1. Competency Training

In terms of Article 9 of the Firearms Control Act (Act 60 of 2000) a person wishing to apply for a competency certificate to possess a firearm must:

  • Be a South African citizen and at least 21 years old
  • Have no criminal record
  • Not have a complaint against them for the negligent use of a firearm
  • Complete the prescribed firearm competency training at any accredited firearm training centre or institution

The firearm competency training comprises the following training modules based on unit standards (provided by accredited firearm training centres or institutions):

  • 117705 – knowledge of the law (mandatory – Art 9 (2) (q) Act 60 of 2000)
  • 119649 – handling and use of a handgun
  • 119650 – handling and use of a self-loading firearm
  • 119651 – handling and use of a bolt-action rifle
  • 119652 – handling and use of a shotgun
  • 243200 – handling and use of a black powder firearm

It is necessary to complete the prescribed competency training at a training institution accredited by the Professional Firearms Trainers Council (PFTC). See a list of accredited firearm training institutions in your area.

The training institution provides relevant study guides for self-study and preparation for each unit standard.

On the day of the course, the assessor will discuss the theoretical aspects of the training and firearm use before writing the exam/test and performing a practical shooting test.

Upon successful completion of the firearm training, the training institution will issue a Statement of Results.

A certified copy of this certificate must be attached to the application for a competency certificate.

2. Application for Competency

Complete SAPS 517 form in black ink

Attach the following documents to your application:

  • Two certified copies of your ID document
  • Proof of address (not older than 3 months)
  • Certified copy of your competency training certificate (Statement of Results)
  • Three testimonies from family and friends or colleagues confirming your character (One from a family member and two from friends or colleagues)
  • Two full-colour passport photos
  • The designated firearm officer (DFO) will take two sets of fingerprints on the SAPS 91 fingerprint form to check your criminal record.
  • R88 cash

SAPS will process the application and issue the competency certificate.

The competency certificate confirms that you meet the requirements to possess a firearm according to Article 9 of the Firearms Control Act (Act 60 of 2000). Once you receive the competency certificate, you can proceed to apply for a firearm licence.

3. Application for Further Competency

Complete SAPS 517(a) in black ink

Attach the following documents to your application:

  • Two certified copies of your ID document
  • Copy of your current competency certificate
  • Certified copy of PFTC Statement of Results for the other category of firearm licence you are applying for.
  • Previous POLSEC and SASSETA training certificates are still valid.
  • Proof of address (not older than 3 months)
  • Three testimonies from family and friends or colleagues confirming your character (One from a family member and two from friends or colleagues).
  • Two full-colour passport photos.
  • Three full-colour photos of your safe with the door closed, with the door open, and one showing the bolts with which it is secured. (Photographs of the safe are not a requirement for the application for a competency certificate, but some DFOs require it. Just include them.)
  • The designated firearm officer (DFO) will take two sets of fingerprints on the SAPS 91 fingerprint form.
  • R88 cash.

SAPS will process the application and issue a new competency certificate.

4. Renewal of Competency

Complete SAPS 517(g) in black ink

Attach the following documents to your application:

  • Two certified copies of your ID document
  • Copy of competency certificate
  • Certified copy of PFTC Statement of Results for the other category of firearm licence you are applying for. (The training certificates are not a requirement for the application, but some firearms officers request them. Just take it with you.)
  • Previous POLSEC and SASSETA training certificates are still valid.
  • Proof of address (not older than 3 months).
  • Three testimonies from family and friends or colleagues confirming your character (One from a family member and two from friends or colleagues).
  • Two full-colour passport photos.
  • Three full-colour photos of your safe with the door closed, with the door open, and one showing the bolts with which it is secured. (Photographs of the safe are not a requirement for the application for a competency certificate, but some DFOs require it. Just include them.)
  • Your DFO will take two sets of fingerprints on the SAPS 91 fingerprint form.
  • R88 cash.

The SAPS will process the application and issue a new competency certificate.

5. Firearm Licence Application

Complete the SAPS 271 application form in black ink

Attach the following documents to your application:

  • Two copies of the identity document
  • Copy of the competency certificate
  • Copy of proof of training; POSLEC, SASSETA, or PFTC Statement of Results (Not a requirement, but some DFOs may ask for it)
  • Proof of address (not older than 3 months)
  • Three full-colour photos of the safe with the door closed, with the door open, and one showing the bolts with which it is secured (Not a requirement, but some DFOs may ask for it)
  • Complete motivation for each firearm licence that you are applying for
  • Endorsement confirming that the firearm is suitable for the purpose for which it is motivated. Print application form here
  • Any additional documentation supporting the motivation, e.g., hunting photographs
  • Invitations from farmers confirming that you are allowed to hunt on their farm
  • Copies of certificates or any other proof of participation in sports shooting activities
  • Article 16 applications require proof of membership and dedicated status (See supporting documents for SA Hunters members)
  • Two full-colour passport photos
  • R175 cash per application

Supporting documents for SA Hunters members:

  • Copy of your latest SAJWV membership certificate on your member profile here
  • Endorsement for firearm suitability print application form here

Supporting documents for SA Hunters members with dedicated status:

  • Dedicated hunter certificate on your member profile here
  • Request your Dedicated hunter letter of good standing here
  • Dedicated sports shooter certificate on your member profile here
  • Request your Dedicated sports shooter letter of good standing here
  • A copy of the report on your hunting and sports shooting activities on your member profile here

If you are buying the firearm from a firearm dealer, the dealer will:

Attach the SAPS 350(a) form to the SAPS 271 application form with the following sections completed and signed:

  • Section E 1 to 1.11
  • Section F, 1.2 TYPE B (firearm dealer)
  • Section F, (SAP 350 (A) details) 36 to 40
  • Section F, 41 TYPE C (Companies) 42 to 58
  • Section F, 81 (DECLARATION BY PERSON WHO IS LAWFULLY IN POSSESSION OF THE FIREARM) 82 to 87.

If you are taking over the firearm in a private transaction, the current owner must:

  • Attach a copy of their ID document to the application form
  • Attach a copy of the existing firearm licence to the application form
  • Choose Section F, 1.2 A (private owner)
  • Complete Sections A (private owner) 4 to 15 on page 3
  • Complete Sections F 81 to 87 on page 5 and sign.

If you are inheriting or buying the firearm from an estate, attach the following documents to the application:

  • A copy of the deceased’s firearm licence
  • A copy of the deceased’s ID document
  • A copy of the deceased’s death certificate
  • A copy of the executor’s appointment letter managing the estate
  • A letter from the executor approving the transfer of firearms and authorising the applicant to apply for a firearm licence for the respective firearm
  • A copy of the executor’s ID document
  • Choose Section F, 1.2 E (estate)
  • Executor completes section 63 Type E (estate) on page 4
  • Executor completes and signs F; 79 to 87 on page 5

6. Renewal of a Firearm Licence

Complete SAPS 518(a) in black ink

  • Complete only one SAPS 518(a) form, even if you are renewing more than one firearm licence.
  • Complete Annexure A for each firearm licence you want to renew and attach it to the SAPS 518(a) application form.

Attach the following documents to your application to renew your firearm licence:

  • Two certified copies of your identity document
  • Copy of the licence you want to renew
  • Copy of your competency certificate or card (front and back)
  • Copy of your training certificate (Not a requirement, but some DFOs may ask for it)
  • Proof of your address
  • Three full-colour photos of your safe with the door closed, with the door open, and one showing the bolts with which it is secured (Not a requirement, but some DFOs may ask for it)
  • Two full-colour passport photos
  • R88 cash per application

Supporting documents for SA Hunters members:

  • Copy of your active SAHGCA membership certificate on your member profile here
  • Endorsement regarding the suitability of the firearm. Print application form here

Supporting documents for SA Hunters members with dedicated status:

  • Dedicated hunter certificate on your member profile here
  • Request your Dedicated hunter letter of good standing here
  • Dedicated sports shooter certificate on your member profile here
  • Request your Dedicated sports shooter letter of good standing here
  • A copy of the report on your hunting and sports shooting activities on your member profile here

Your DFO may request additional documentation, e.g., evidence of where the weapon was used, hunting photos, or invitations from farmers.

The licence remains valid if the renewal application is submitted at least 90 days before the expiration date.

Keep your receipt.

Make a copy of your application and keep it safe in case your documents go missing.

Green firearm licences still valid – read here

7. Storage Permit

Complete the SAPS 539 in black ink

Note: With a storage permit, the firearm may only be stored, not transported, or used.

Attach the following documents to your application:

  • Copy of the owner’s ID
  • Copy of the relevant firearm owner’s licence to be stored
  • Copy of the ID of the person in whose possession the firearm will be stored
  • Copy of the competency certificate of the person in whose possession the firearm will be stored
  • Proof of address of the person in whose possession the firearm will be stored
  • Copy of firearm licences of the person in whose possession the firearm will be stored

Take the storage permit to your DFO for approval.
The owner must receive a copy of the storage permit.

In cases where someone stores a weapon that is part of an estate, complete the storage permit and attach the following:

  • Copy of the deceased’s ID
  • Copy of the deceased’s death certificate
  • Copy of the deceased’s licence for the rifle (or rifles) you will be storing
  • Copy of the executor’s appointment letter
  • Letter from the executor approving that you may store the firearms and that the applicant is authorized to apply for a firearm licence for the relevant firearm
  • Copy of the owner’s licence for the firearm to be stored
  • Copy of the ID of the person in whose possession the firearm will be stored
  • Copy of the competency certificate of the person in whose possession the firearm will be stored
  • Proof of address of the person in whose possession the firearm will be stored.

Take the storage permit to your DFO for approval.
The executor must receive a copy of the storage permit.

8. Temporary Import/Export Permit

Complete SAPS 520 in black ink

Attach the following documents to your application:

  • Two copies of identity documents
  • Copy of your passport
  • Copy of competency certificate
  • Copy of training certificates; POSLEC, SASSETA, or PFTC Certificate of Results
  • Proof of address (not older than 3 months)
  • Copy of each firearm licence for which the applicant wants to apply
  • Invitation letter from the farm where the applicant intends to hunt.

Very Important

  • Permits are approved and issued by the Central Firearm Register in Pretoria, not at the local police station. Apply for a permit at least 21 working days before the departure date.
  • SA Hunters recommends that firearm owners apply for export/import permits in advance and not at the border.
  • All international airports have border police on duty who can assist with the transportation of firearms on aeroplanes.
  • Hunters travelling with firearms from Botswana to Namibia must also obtain a permit to take firearms through Botswana. Ramathlabama border post can be used.
  • Handguns are not allowed under any circumstances in Botswana or Namibia.
  • A separate form must be completed for each firearm.
  • Permits for Botswana cost approximately R300 (depending on the exchange rate). These permits are valid for 30 days and cannot be extended.
  • Contact Mike Botha to arrange documents on the Botswana side.
    • Tel: 002-67-393-9830
    • Fax: 002-67-393-9830
    • Email: paam@it.bw

Send us your comments, questions or suggestions

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