Applying for a licence for a firearm

How do I get a new firearms licence?  Note that this means applying for a first time licence for a firearm that you do not currently own.  If you already own the firearm and need to obtain a new licence for the same firearm, click here to find the information you need.  

In order to obtain a new licence to possess a firearm under the new legislation controlling firearms in South Africa, the Firearms Control Act, 2000 (Act 60 of 2000), there is basically a three (3) step process through which you need to go.

Step 1

There are national educational standards set and maintained by the relevant authority against which you need to be tested in the areas of your knowledge, understanding, skills and abilities to legally own and use, safely handle and operate a firearm under a variety of circumstances and then shoot the firearm competently. There are different standards for different firearm types, such as handguns, rifles and shotguns.

Once you have successfully completed this phase, you will receive a training certificate (stating your proficiency) and a Statement of Results (SoR) issued by the South African Firearms Training Council (SAPFTC) from the accredited training provider.

Step 2

The training certificate is then taken to the Designated Firearms Officer (DFO) of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and you apply for a competency certificate on the police form SAPS 517. The police will require you to show them your training certificate, your original national identity book, supply colour passport photographs, possibly several testimonials and the amount of R70 in cash or a bank guaranteed cheque as an application fee. They will then take your fingerprints, conduct interviews and run a background check on you for any prior serious criminal behaviour, such as previous criminal convictions. Once this has been verified and you are declared a fit and proper person to be in possession of a firearm by the issuing of your competency certificate, you move to the final phase, step 3.

Step 3

Once you have been advised by the DFO to come to his/her office at the police station and collect and sign for your competency certificate, the police will then be in a position to process your firearmís licence application on police form SAPS 271. You must divulge the purpose for which the firearm is required, together with your reasons why you need it and which must be fully and carefully motivated in the application. The cost of a firearm licence application is R140 in either cash or a bank guaranteed cheque.

Please check directly with your DFO at the Firearms Office of the SAPS police station which serves your residential area for his/her specific requirements for this process.