Firearm licence
Application Procedure

Before you may possess a firearm, you have to obtain a firearms licence from the South African Police Services, (SAPS). You need a licence for every firearm you possess.


Pass the training test

You must pass the prescribed training test to prove your knowledge of the Firearms Control Act 2000 (Act No 60 of 2000) and obtain a training proficiency certificate from an accredited training provider. A list of training institutions is maintained on the SAPS website or you can call the SAPS FLASH Call Centre at (012) 353-6111.

Apply for a competency certificate

On receipt of the training certificate from an accredited training provider or SASSETA, (Safety and Security SETA) you need to submit an application (SAPS 517 form) for a competency certificate to the Designated Firearms Officer (DFO) in your area. 

Apply for a licence to possess a firearm

Once you have obtained a Competency Certificate, complete the relevant sections of the SAPS 271 form, which is the application to possess a firearm.  Together with the SAPs 271 form, submit the documentation listed below to the relevant Designated Firearms Officer (DFO) at the police station in your area.

Take the following documents with you to the DFO:

  • Your original Training Certificate
  • You original Competency Certificate
  • Executors letter of appointment (if the firearm is inherited)
  • Two un-obscured, passport-size, colour photographs. No black & white photos or photos with a hat, sunglasses or particularly high collars will be accepted.
  • Your original official identity document.
  • An in-depth motivation, stating why your application for the firearm licence should be approved. The motivation could include anything from your reasoning why you want/need the specific firearm or caliber, what it would be used for, testimonials from friend and family and photos as proof of your already installed firearm safe that meets the standards set by the South African Bureau of Standards.The motivation documents might be the most important part of your application so be sure to really put a lot of thought and effort into it. offers information and templates that might be of great help to get started.
Get a receipt

Once the DFO is done processing and submitting your application he/she will hand you a signed acknowledgement of receipt (SAPS 523) as proof that you have submitted an application for a licence to possess a firearm.

Safe inspections

The DFO will inspect your premises to ascertain that you have met the requirements for a safe.

Central firearms register submission

The DFO will send the application form, as well as the supporting documents and safe inspection report to the Central Firearms Register, (CFR) for consideration.  After the successful consideration of your application, your licence will be sent to you.

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Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, all come from earth, and to earth all return.

Ashes to ashes,
dust to dust,
all come from earth,
and to earth all return.