Self-defence on it′s own, is not reason enough to apply for a licence for self-protection

SAPS has provided hard and clear guidance with regard to the licensing of a handgun or shotgun for self defence. It will be considered only if the applicant can emphatically show that a firearm for self defence is the method of last resort. In fact this is the only clear-cut indication in the Firearms Control Act (60 of 2000) where it is explicitly stated that a definite reason has to be furnished why a firearm is needed (in other words explain and motivate its purpose and need thereof)

Section 13 of the FCA reads as follows:

Licence to possess firearm for self-defence 

(1) A firearm in respect of which a licence may be issued in terms of this section is any- 

     (a) shotgun which is not fully or semi-automatic; or 

     (b) handgun which is not fully automatic. 

(2) The Registrar may issue a licence under this section to any natural person who- 

     (a) needs a firearm for self-defence; and 

     (b) cannot reasonably satisfy that need by means other than the possession of a firearm. 

(3) No person may hold more than one licence issued in terms of this section. 

(4) A firearm in respect of which a licence has been issued in terms of this section may be used where it is safe to use the firearm and for a lawful purpose. 

This means that the applicant must show that all other reasonable steps have been taken to ensure his/her personal safety or that of the household. Details of location of the residence, the distance to the nearest police station, the incidence of burglaries or home attacks, etc. must be provided. Information such as place of work, need to travel in high risk areas and the carrying of amounts of cash will also be considered. So be sure to submit a complete motivation when applying for this category of licence.