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.


Prospective firearm owners must first pass the prescribed training test at an accredited training institution and obtain a training proficiency certificate.  A list of training institutions is maintained on the SAPS website or you can call the SAPS National Firearms Centre at, Tel: (012) 353-6111.


Basic Steps to Follow for Firearm Licence Application

  1.  You must successfully complete the prescribed test to prove your knowledge of the Firearms Control Act at an accredited training provider.  Doing a course and writing the test can be fun and acquiring some knowledge of the Act is really useful if you intend keeping firearms.

  3. On receipt of the training certificate from an accredited training provider or SASSETA, (Safety and Security SETA), apply to the SAPS for a competency certificate.  Complete form SAPS 517 which is the application for a competency certificate.

  5. Once you have obtained a Competency Certificate, complete the relevant sections of the SAPS 271 which is the application to possess a firearm.  Submit the form to the relevant Designated Firearms Officer (DFO) at the police station nearest where you live.

    Take the following documents with you to the DFO:

    • The original Training Certificate obtained from the SASSETA
    • The original Competency Certificate – (if already issued)
    • Executors letter of appointment, (if the firearm is inherited)
    • Two un-obscured passport-size colour photographs, not older than three months. No black & white photo’s or photo’s with a hat, sunglasses or particularly high collars will be accepted.
    • Your original official identity document.


  6. Motivate your firearm licence application fully and submit documents to support your application.

  8. The DFO will take a full set of your fingerprints on the SAPS 91(a) form.  During the process of submitting the application, the officer may test your patience to some degree, it is best to keep level headed in this situation, be patient and have a sense of humour if you are hoping to appear competent to handle a gun.

  10. The DFO will 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.  Payment must be made by means of cash of a bank guaranteed cheque.  You will be issued with a receipt (Z263) as proof of payment, which you must submit to the DFO to enable him or her to continue processing your firearm licence application.

  12. 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.

  14. The DFO will ask you to obtain and install, within 14 days, a firearm safe that meets the standards set by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS).

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

  18. 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.