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 on the
date of the longest outstanding licence of that category of firearm one
If one has only one handgun and it is licensed for self-defence, one's handgun competency is valid for 5 years only 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.
If one has only one shotgun and it is licensed for self-defence, one's shotgun competency is valid for 5 years only 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.
If 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 on the date of one's sport shooting handgun licence (or shotgun licence) with the longest outstanding expiry date. One's application for renewal of one's handgun competency (or shotgun competency) must thus be handed in with the application for renewal of one's longest outstanding handgun licence (or shotgun licence) (at least 90 days before the longest outstanding licence expires).
The same applies to manually operated rifles (bolt or lever, or pump actions), and semi-auto rifles one holds licences for under section 15 and/or 16. The relevant category of firearm's competency expires on the date of the longest outstanding licence of that category of firearm (rifle or semi-auto rifle). One's application for renewal of the relevant competency must thus be handed in with the application for renewal of one's longest outstanding licence for that category of firearm (at least 90 days before the longest outstanding licence for the specific category of firearm expires).
When one wants 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).
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)
Despite all of the the above indications, Natshoot still 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
We hope this helps our members to better understand the validity or competencies and when to renew same.
NEW COMPETENCY APPLICATION
Download: Application for Competency (SAPS 517)
Download: Procedures for Application of CompetencyExample of Additional Caracter Witness Declaration
APPLICATION FOR FURTHER COMPETENCY
---------------RENEWAL OF COMPETENCY
(3 people to each fill out the Annexure)
Kind regards, The Natshoot Office