THE FACTS ON VALIDITY OF COMPETENCY AND RENEWAL THEREOF
Date: Vol 17-07
VOL. 17 (07) - 08-02-2021
From a number of recent requests it seems that the facts surrounding the application for competencies and their renewal is confusing and needs some clarification.
one may have been issued with a competency certificate which indicates
that one may hold a handgun, and/or rifle, and/or shotgun, and/or
semi-auto rifle (all printed on one A4 document or on a white card),
competency in actual fact relates to each category of firearm one may
own, on its own. Factually SAPS should have issued one with a seperate
competency certificate for each category of firearm for which one
applied to be declared competent (i.e. one for your handgun(s), one for
your rifle(s), one for your shotgun(s), and one for your semi-auto
One may thus currently hold one document indicating all one's competencies. But over time, one may be issued with a separate competency certificate for each category of firearm one may own, every time one has to renew a specific competency, as one does not necessarily have to renew one's competencies for all categories of firearms one may own, at the same time.
Section 10(2) of the Firearms Control Act (FCA - Act 60 of 2000) was amendment in 2006 (Amendment Act 28 of 2006) replacing the original 5 years of validity of all competency certificates, with the stipulation reading as follows: "...A competency certificate …remains valid for the same period of validity as the period ... in respect of the licence to which the competency certificate relates…".
then actually means that one’s competency for a category of
firearm (i.e. handgun, rifle, shotgun, semi-auto rifle), expires either 5
years or 10 years after date of its issue for a specific type of
one has only one handgun and it is licensed for self-defence, one's
handgun competency is valid for 5 years only from date of issue as one's handgun licence
under section 13 is valid for 5 years only; with both application for
renewal of licence and application for renewal of competency (i.e. handgun) to be handed in at least 90 days
before the licence expires. The relevant competency remains valid until the renewal application thereof has been finalised.
If one has only one shotgun and it is licensed for self-defence, one's shotgun competency is valid for 5 years only from date of issue, as one's shotgun licence under section 13 is valid for 5 years only; with both application for renewal of licence and competency to be handed in at least 90 days before the licence expires.
one has a handgun (or shotgun) for self-defence (section 13), and one
or more handguns for sport shooting (or shotguns for sport shooting or
hunting) (section 15 or 16), one's handgun competency (or shotgun
competency) expires 10 years after date of issue of one's handgun or shotgun competency. One's
application for renewal of one's handgun competency (or shotgun
competency) must thus be handed in 90 days before the 10 years from the date of issue of the relevant competency.
same applies to manually operated rifles for licences under sections 15 or 16 (bolt or lever, or pump
actions), and for semi-auto rifles under section 16. The relevant category of firearm's competency expires 10
years after its date of issue per type of firearm it has relevance to.
One's application for renewal of the
relevant competency must thus be handed in at least 90 days before the
10years of the comoetency is reached.
When you want to apply for a licence for any category of firearm for the first time, one must first apply for that category of firearm's competency, and receive it, before one may hand in the application for the licence for that specific new firearm (first time application).
One can obviously apply for a new licence if one's competency for the specific firearm type is still valid (thus within the 10 years limit after date of issue).
However, one may hand in an application for a renewal of a licence and for the renewal of the relevant competency at the same time.
The process and procedures related to the application for competency, is explained HERE
The Amendment Act of 2006 (28 of 2006) also added a new section 10(3) to the FCA, which relates to competency to own muzzle loading firearms, and which addition reads as follows: "...A competency certificate relating to a muzzle loading firearm lapses ten years after its date of issue...". Renewal of competency to own a muzzle loader (no licence required) must thus be submitted every ten years (at least 90 days before the competency expires).
seems the addition of this new section might have been the source of
misunderstanding in the Western Cape, where it seems SAPS wants one to
apply for renewal of the relevant competency every time one applies for
renewal of a related firearm licence.
The validity of firearm licences (section 27 of the FCA) was also amended in the Amendment Act of 2006 (Act 28 of 2006) to read as follows:
Section Type of licence or permit Period of validity
13 Licence to possess firearm for self-defence Five years (no change)
14 Licence to possess restricted firearm for self-defence Two years (no change)
15 Licence to possess firearm for occasional hunting and sports-shooting Ten years (no change)
16 Licence to possess firearm for dedicated hunting and/or dedicated sport shooting Ten years (no change)
16A Licence to possess a firearm for professional hunting Ten years (no change)
17 Licence to possess firearm in private collection Ten years (no change)
18 Permit to possess ammunition in private collection Ten years (no change)
19 Licence to possess firearm, and permit to possess ammunition, in public collection Ten years (was 5 years)
20 Licence to possess firearm for business purposes as game rancher and in hunting Ten years (was 5 years)
20 Licence to possess firearm for business purposes other than game rancher and in hunting Five years (was 2 years)
Natshoot advises that one rather renew one's competencies 10 years after date of issue to ascertain one is always on the right side of the law. In this manner one does not allow SAPS to say they do not award a licence because they perceive a competency to have lapsed. Do not leave yourself in the hands of the police because you did not do a simple piece of paper work - competency renewals is just that - simple paper work.
However, it might even be much better to apply for renewal of competencies one year before the licences of the specific firearm type the competency refers to, has to be renewed. In that manner SAPS will not first wait for competency to be renewed before they evaluate the renewal application for the licence as the renewal application will then already contain a valid competency certificate for that type of firearm.
We hope this helps our members to better understand the validity or competencies and when to renew same.
Remember renewal of competency is just paper work !
NEW COMPETENCY APPLICATION
Download: Application for Competency (SAPS 517)Example: Additional Character Witness Declaration
APPLICATION FOR FURTHER COMPETENCY
---------------RENEWAL OF COMPETENCY
(3 people to each fill out the Annexure)
Kind regards, The Natshoot Office