CATEGORIES OF FIREARM LICENCES

In the FCA there are 9 categories of licences and permits firearm owners can apply for. For purposes of this section, and for the average NSA member, the 4 more important categories of licenses are:

  • additional licences (section 12 of the FCA)

  • licences for self-defence (section 13 of the FCA)

  • licences for occasional hunting and sport-shooting (section 15 of the FCA)

  • licences for dedicated hunting and sport-shooting (section 16 of the FCA)

Copies of the FCA (Act 60 of 2000) and its Regulations (2004) - plus admendments - can be downloaded here

Additional licences: additional licence can be issued to every person in the same household (living on the same premises) in respect of a licensed firearm owned by a person also permanently living in that household. Additional licences are valid for as long as the additional licensee lives on the same premises as the licence holder. Every holder of such an additional licence must comply with all the requirements for the issue of a licence in respect of the firearm in question.

This is an important category to contemplate when applying for a licence if one has one or two firearms in the household which are only licensed to one person.

The non-owner of a firearm may only use a licensed firearm in the presence of the licensed owner (Section 22 of the FCA). If a pistol is licensed to the husband, and the wife should use the firearm in self-defence when the husband is not home, such use could constitute illegal use of that firearm (proven threat to life will surely be taken as mitigating circumstances in court).

Section 13 licence - Self-defence: firearms which can be licensed in this category is a shotgun which is not fully or semi-automatic, or a handgun which is not fully automatic (compare with sections 14 and 16 of the Act). A licence in this category is issued to a person who needs a firearm for self-defence, and who provides a good motivation why s/he cannot reasonably satisfy that need by other means.

No person may hold more than one licence issued in terms of this section. A licensed firearm for self-defence may be used where it is safe, and in a lawful manner.  Click here for more information on this issue.

Section 15 licence - Occasional hunting: firearms in this category is any handgun which is suitable for hunting and can be motivated as such, or any hunting rifle or shotgun which is not fully or semi-automatic, and which is not a restricted firearm (see section 14 of the ACT).

Section 15 licence - Occasional sports-shooting: firearms in this category is any handgun (only one is allowed in addition to a self-protection handgun under this Section - Section 16 licences below), any rifle or shotgun which is suitable for sports-shooting and can be motivated as such, and which is not fully or semi-automatic (excluding semi-auto pistols), and which is not a restricted firearm (see section 14 of the ACT).

A licence can be issued in terms of Section 15 to a person who is a proven occasional hunter or occasional sports-person (maintained membership of an accredited association is suggested but not compulsory, with proof from the association or from hunting and or sport-shooting colleagues as part of your motivation for application of licences).

One may not hold licences for more than 4 firearms under this section. If a person holds a licence issued in terms of section 13, s/he may only hold three other licensed firearms under this section.

Section 16 - Dedicated hunting and/or sports-shooting: firearms for which application for licensing can be submitted in this category are any handgun, rifle, or shotgun (or a semi-automatic shotgun that cannot fire more than five shots in succession) (not fully automatic), or a semi-automatic rifle for sports-shooting purposes. More than 4 firearm licences can be issued to a person under this section once such a person has been declared to be a dedicated hunter or a dedicated sports-person by his/her accredited hunting or sport-shooting association/organisation.

The Regulations (2004) of the FCA determine that an applicant can only acquire dedicated status once such an applicant has complied with training requirements of an accredited hunting or sports-shoting association.

By Law, only SAPS (CFR) accredited hunting or sport-shooting associations may award dedicated status to their members who comply with the training criteria set by the relevant association / organisation to acquire such status.

An individual may hold dedicated hunter (sport-shooter) status with more than one hunting or sport-shooting association. It is not true that this will allegedly cause administrative problems for the CFR. The CFR registers licence holders per their ID numbers on their database, and not per their dedicated status.

Applications for licenses in this category have to be accompanied by a sworn statement from the chairperson of the accredited hunting association or sports-shooting association of which the applicant is a member. The sworn statement must declare that the applicant is a registered dedicated hunter (sport-shooter) in good standing in that association (a so-called Section 16 declaration).

Every accredited hunting association and sports-shooting organisation must keep a register of dedicated hunters (sport-shooters) in the association, and must report their ID, and their name, as well as their standing in that association to the CFR, annually.

Dedicated hunters who do not maintain their membership of the association where they are classified as dedicated hunters or as sports-persons, loose their dedicated status in terms of their firearm licences. They also loose the advantages to be had under that status (i.e. they may no longer hold more than 200 rounds of ammunition - important for shot gunners - or more than 2,400 primers per licensed firearm, apart from the fact that s/he loses the legal right to own more than 4 firearms.

A dedicated member who let′s his/her membership of an accredited association expire, is legally required to inform the CFR of his/her changed circumstances (form SAPS 521(c)) in terms of which s/he required his/her licences. As this person′s status has dramatically changed s/he might be required to re-apply de novo for his/her firearm licences.

Regulation 4(1)(e) stipulates that an accredited association may only allow dedicated membership in the association to a registered member for as long as (i) the dedicated member is a person in good standing with the association; and (ii) provided that an association will not register a person as a dedicated hunter and/or asdedicated sports-person if that member conducts business in hunting or sports-shooting on the strength of a licence issued to him/her as a dedicated hunter or sports-person.