Application for Firearm licence: Process in short

You must successfully complete the prescribed training at an accredited training provider.

The unit standard known as Knowledge of the Firearms Control Act, 2000 is compulsory for all so-called learners.

Then there are 4 additional unit standards of which you must complete at least one.  These are related to prescribed training and practical testing regarding the safe and efficient handling of a firearm (rifle, shotgun, handgun, semi-auto rifle/carbine) at an accredited training provider (see list here).  One needs to complete a seperate unit standard for possesion of a black powder firearm (no licence required just the training certificate is adequate).

On receipt of the training certificate from an accredited training provider and from PFTC, apply to the SAPS for a competency certificate. You must complete the SAPS 517 form (Application for a competency certificate).  Forms can be dowloaded from the SAPS website, but we suggest one gets the correct forms at you police station (ask for the DFO - stands for Designated Firearms Officer - the officer at your police station responsible for firearm licence applications)

Submit the application together with the following supporting documentation to the designated firearms officer (DFO) at your local police station where you reside and pay the required fee - currently R70-00:

  • an authenticated copy of your official identify document
  • authenticated copies your original training certificate issued by a PFTC accredited training provider, plus your PFTC certificates (also called a statement of results document) once you have received these certificates.
  • two clear passport-size colour photographs (with a neutral background) not older than three months
  • authenticated copies of any other supporting documents (i.e. proof of membership of an accredited hunting and/or sports-shooting association, or of a shooting club)

After you have obtained a competency certificate, you must complete the relevant sections of the SAPS 271 form (Application for a licence to possess a firearm).

Submit the completed SAPS 271 form to the Designated Firearms Officer (DFO) at the police station in the area where you ordinarily reside.  Take the following documents with you to the DFO:

  • authenticated copy of your original official identity document
  • authenticated copies of your original competency certificate
  • two clear passport-size colour photographs (with a neutral background) not older than three months

You must fully motivate your application and submit documents in support of your application (NSA assists members by furnishing examples of such motivations - see Licences page).   As of late SAPS requires an endorsement for the suitability of the firearm for the purpose stated for its use to be issued by an accredited association – we suggest you get that endorsement from NSA (apply on your personal Natshoot web page).

The DFO will:

take a full set of your fingerprints on the SAPS 91(a) form.

issue you with a remittance advice SAPS 523 (a) and direct you to the financial office at the police station to pay the prescribed fee (currently R140-00 per application). The payment must be made by means of cash or a bank-guaranteed cheque. You will be issued with a receipt (Z263) as proof of the payment, of which you must submit a copy to the DFO to enable processing of the application to continue.

You will receive a signed acknowledgment of receipt (SAPS 523) as proof that you have submitted an application for a licence to possess a firearm. 

After the successful consideration of your application (licence awarded), the DFO will ask you to obtain and install, within 14 days, a firearm safe that meets the standards set by the South African Bureau of Standards.

The DFO will carry out a physical inspection of your premises to ascertain that you have met the requirements for an appropriate safe.