1. You have to write an exam on the new Firearms Control Act at an accredited assessor or trainer in order to obtain a training certificate. This entails writing an open-book test at home to help you study. You then have to write an exam under supervision of the assessor or trainer who will issue you with a training certificate. You have to obtain a certificate for each category firearm you own (ie. Rifles, Shotguns or handguns) All categories may be on one certificate and you write only one exam, but have to apply on different forms for each category. There are also a fourth category, namely Automatic firearm, but you will only be entitled to apply for this category if you are a Dedicated Hunter and then only for an automatic shotgun.
2. With the above training certificate you then go to the SAPS to obtain application forms for a Proficiency Certificate. Strictly according to the ACT you have to have this certificate in hand before applying for your firearms licences, but in this first phase the SAPS allow you to simultaneously apply for your firearms licenses. (Please note that if you are not registered as a Dedicated Hunter you will not be allowed to apply for more than four firearms licences – of which only one may be a handgun) See elsewhere on this website how to become a Dedicated Hunter). You will in all probability not be able to license two handguns, except if you can prove that you use one for hunting purposes.
3. The above application form for your Proficiency Certificate also comprises sections that have to be filled out by your doctor, spouse, neighbour and a friend. You also need a colour passport photo and there is an application fee of R70. Make sure that you have the prescribed safe and that it is properly bolted to the floor and wall., because the SAPS will do a safe inspection at your home.
4. You have to apply for each of your firearms on a separate Firearms License Application form. For each of these forms you need a colour passport photo and R70 application fee. Please note that it is very important to motivate your need for the specific firearm in detail. Please do not write a 0ne-sentence-reason in the applicable space where they ask “Why do you need this firearm?” THIS WILL NOT WORK! Rather write in this space : “See attached Motivation Report” , and write a thorough report where each firearm is motivated separately with technical data and stating your firearms background and hunting experiences, with a photo record and copies of all relevant certificates, ID, current firearms licences and BHA membership card. If you are still unsure what to do, you can contact me (Abel Botha) by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will sent you a copy of the report (only in Afrikaans) that I submitted, which worked well. You can also download the PDF file at the bottom of this page, which provide guidelines compiled by CHASA.
5. You will need certified copies of your ID and current firearms licences to accompany your application forms.
6. You can now hand in your forms at the SAPS where you will have to make (a whole bunch!) of fingerprints.
7. When you have handed in your application forms, make sure that you receive proof of handing in (your receipts), because these receipts plus your present firearms licenses makes your firearms legitimate until you receive your new firearms licences.
8. One useful tip : Make copies of all the forms and documents that you handed in and store it in a safe place together with the above receipts!
When do I have to re-apply for my firearms licences? The Firearms Control Act spaced the application process over four years : If your birthday falls between January and March, you had to re-apply between 1 January 2005 and 31 March 2006 If your birthday falls between April and June, you had to re-apply between 1 January 2006 and 31 March 2007 If your birthday falls between July and September, you have to re-apply between 1 January 2007 and 31 March 2008 If your birthday falls between October and December, you have to re-apply between 1 January 2008 and 31 March 2009 Please don’t wait until the last month before you re-apply – the process takes time!
If your birthday falls between January and March, you had to re-apply between 1 January 2005 and 31 March 2006
If your birthday falls between April and June, you had to re-apply between 1 January 2006 and 31 March 2007
If your birthday falls between July and September, you have to re-apply between 1 January 2007 and 31 March 2008
If your birthday falls between October and December, you have to re-apply between 1 January 2008 and 31 March 2009
Please don’t wait until the last month before you re-apply – the process takes time!