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FAQ's: Applying for a new firearm licence

About applying for a new firearm licence

Before you may possess a firearm, you must obtain a firearm licence from the South African Police Service. You need a licence for every firearm that you possess.

Potential firearm owners must successfully undergo the prescribed training at an accredited training institution and obtain a training proficiency certificate.  For a list of accredited training institutions, click here.

What you should do

  1. You must successfully pass the prescribed test to prove your knowledge of the Firearms Control Act, 2000 as well as the prescribed training and practical test regarding the safe and efficient handling of a firearm at an accredited training provider.
  2. On receipt of the training certificate from an accredited training provider or the Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority (Sasseta), you must apply to the SAPS for a competency certificate. You must complete the SAPS 517 (Application for a competency certificate) form.
  3. Submit the application together with the following supporting documentation to the designated firearms officer (DFO) situated in the area where you ordinarily reside:
    • Your official identity document
    • Your original training certificate issued by an accredited training provider (Sasseta)
    • Two unobscured passport-size colour photographs (with a neutral background) that are not older that three months
    • Any other supporting documents.
  4. After you have obtained a competency certificate, you must complete the relevant sections of the SAPS 271 form (Application for a licence to possess a firearm).
  5. Submit the completed SAPS 271 form to the DFO in the area where you ordinarily reside.
  6. Take the following documents with you to the DFO:
    • Your original, official identity document
    • Your original competency certificate
    • Letter of appointment as executor, if the firearm was inherited
    • Two unobscured passport-size colour photographs, not older that three months.
  7. You must fully motivate your application and submit documents in support of your application.
  8. The DFO will -
    • take a full set of your fingerprints on the SAPS 91(a) form (only for a competency certificate)
    • issue you with a remittance advice SAPS 523(a) and direct you to the financial office at the police station to pay the prescribed fee.  The payment must be made by means of cash or a bank-guaranteed cheque.  You will be issued with a receipt (Z263) as proof of the payment, which you must submit to the DFO to ensure that the processing of the application will continue.
  9. You will receive a signed acknowledgement of receipt (SAPS 523) as proof that you have submitted an application for a licence to possess a firearm.
  10. After the successful consideration of your application, the DFO will ask you to within 14 days, obtain and install a firearm safe that meets the standards set by the South African Bureau of Standards.
  11. The DFO will carry out an inspection of your premises to ascertain that you have met the requirements for a safe.

How long does it take?

Upon receipt of the successful report about the safe inspection, your licence will be printed and sent to the DFO to be handed to you against a signature on the SAPS 86 register.

 How much does it cost?

  • Competence Certificate: R70,00
  • Firearm licence: R140,00