Apply Licence

APPLY FOR A FIREARM LICENCE (to privately own a firearm)

When applying for a new firearm licence it is advised that the following steps be followed:

Download the application form (SAPS 271) HERE – scroll down the page and click on the relevant pdf-file to download);

Complete the form in black ink – make sure your write clearly – be sure to mark the relevant blocks with an X (nothing else).

Ascertain that you complete all relevant sections of the form – double check if you have filled out all required fields.

Download the official SAPS Checklist for New Applications and see that you comply with what they state on that form - also download SAPS crime stats for your area (application for firearm for self-protection)

You will need copies of the following documents to attach to your application:

Note:  Do not attach original documents to your application under any circumstance as you may need these again – make copies of all relevant documents and take the originals with you when you go to submit your application – the DFO will certify all copies attached to your application when you show him/her the originals.


We advise that you rather write too much than too little – be complete in all instances


An endorsement confirming the applicability of the calibre and firearm for the stated purpose it will be used, from NHSA, has become a prerequisite.  SAPS is on record as stating that an endorsement is of high value in their evaluations for awarding firearm licences - read How To Apply Here.

Additional aspects to consider for inclusion in your motivation

Licensed Firearms

Details of Firearm applied for

Storage/Safe Details

Submission of application

As everything in life, neatness and preciseness counts a lot of marks in the eyes of the evaluator – submit a neatly bound and complete set of documents – it’s our experience that this already makes a good impression.

Number you pages in the top right-hand corner (i.e. 1/25, etc.)

Make a copy of your full application – applications get lost – then you can furnish a duplicate as you have the receipt to prove that you handed in your original application.

What you must make certain to obtain from the DFO

A receipt proving that you have paid the relevant amounts as this also proves that you have handed in your application.

Try and get a completed SAPS 523 form from your DFO – it’s not always possible as the people read in your data into their system at another time as what you are at the office – but try – it’s further official confirmation that you have handed in an application.

Contact your DFO one month after submission date to hear if the licence has been approved yet – thereafter do it twice weekly.  If you want to get further information on the application you might try calling 012-353-6111 (CFR’s helpline – they respond well early evening)

NHSA Members needing further advice or help are welcome to contact the NHSA Firearms Licensing Helpline (choose option 4 for endorsements) - 087-945-3355 – during office hours

This fact sheet is an advisory service of the NHSA for its members and is produced in good faith based on available information at time of compilation.  Neither the Association nor the compilers accept any responsibility whatsoever, directly or indirectly, for the veracity of any information provided or not-provided.

No guarantees regarding the awarding of firearm licensing are given or implied.