Dear Member,

Following our Newsletter Vol. 18(14) on the issue of applying for a new licence for a firearm of which the licence had lapsed, and irrespective of us advising to wait until we know all legal pitfalls, we are confident that we can advise that members who might have firearms with lapsed licences in their possession, should rather participate in the process to apply for a new licence against such lapsed licence earlier than later.

The procedure described by the relevant SAPS Directive issued in this regard (download below), comes down to the following:

1.      One may apply for a new licence for a firearm of which the licence has lapsed (use form SAPS271 – plus Annexure B and the Correct Safe Statement -  download forms below).

2.         Please make sure that your competencies are valid before you apply.  It is a new licence application so you must first have a valid competency to possess the specific type of firearm relevant to your application.  It is best to renew competencies 10 years after date of issue (at least 90 days before the 10 years are over – on competencies without renewal dates please use date of issue as calculation date – or read Newsletter Vol 17(07) on the Newsletters page on Natshoot home page re competencies if you are uncertain).

3.      SAPS will not prosecute a person for being in possession of a firearm with a lapsed licence if that person wants to apply for a new licence against a lapsed licence.

4.      The length of time a licence had already lapsed is no limitation in submission of a new licence application for a firearm with a lapsed licence (the time-limiting factor remains a valid specific firearm relevant competency).

5.      The procedure described in the relevant SAPS Directive is applicable for any lapsed firearm licence; thus, also for firearms of which licences lapse in future (our advice is to rather make sure you renew firearm licences and your competencies at least 90 days before the licence or competency lapses).

6.      The firearm of which the licence had lapsed and for which a new licence application is submitted, must be taken to a member’s DFO for inspection and verification.

7.      A firearm which has so been inspected and verified by the member’s DFO (6 above) remains in possession of the owner.

8.      Keeping such firearm (7 above) is subject to the stipulations of Regulation 86.  In short that means you may store the firearm in your safe after the DFO had inspected and verified it, but you may not use it until you have the new white licence card in your possession (remember the licence which you have has lapsed and the relevant firearm thus legally speaking an illegal firearm until you have the new licence

9.      At this stage the procedures for new licence applications submitted under amnesty and new licence applications submitted in terms of the procedures related to the Fidelity case, are treated as two separate processes by SAPS.  Members ask if they can go and ask their firearms back which were handed in under amnesty because of the Fidelity case verdict.  The constant answer we get from informed officials is no.  We shall inform members on this issue the moment we know otherwise.

10.    The Directive does make mention of firearms in Estates and indicates that the current procedures for application for a inherited firearm must be followed.  The normal SAPS 271 - attach the executor's court appointment, the ID of the deceased, the licence of the firearm - the executor completes section E of the SAPS 271 (complete Annexure B of the relevant Directive too). 

11.    The guidelines to the relevant SAPS Directive further state that in the event that the applicant’s application is refused he/she will have an opportunity to dispose of the firearm, by selling, donation, deactivation, surrendering or any such manner as the Registrar may determine.

12.    There is no mention of the fact that an applicant can appeal the refusal of a licence under this procedure.  It, however, stands to reason that in terms of the FCA and Regulations, an applicant should be entitled to appeal as it is a new licence application (We shall let members know re appeals in this case as soon as we have met with CFR on the issue).

13.    Another issue we shall ask the CFR and advise members on when we know, is whether a person who has a firearm of which the licence had lapsed and who does not want that firearm any more, may dispose of such firearm with a registered firearms dealer.


SAPS 271 - Application for a New Licence

SAPS Annexure A to New Licence applications for firearms with lapsed licences

SAPS Annexure B to New Licence applications for firearms with lapsed licences

Correct Safe Statement

SAPS Directive on application for new licence against lapsed licence

NHSA Newsletter on advice of documentation needed for new licence application

Kind Regards,  Natshoot Office