Firearm Licence – Application Process for a New Licence

| 14 March 2010 | 44 Comments

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

Prospective firearm owners must successfully undergo the prescribed training at an accredited training institution and obtain a training proficiency certificate. A list of accredited training institutions are maintained on the website of the SAPS or you may call the SAPS National Firearms Call Centre at Tel: 012 353 6111 or Fax: 012 353 6574 for information.

Steps to follow

  • You must successfully complete the prescribed test on the knowledge of the Act as well as the prescribed training and practical test regarding the safe and efficient handling of a firearm at an accredited training provider.
  • On receipt of the training certificate from an accredited training provider or SASSETA (Safety and Security Training Authority), apply to the South African Police Service for a competency certificate. You must complete the SAPS 517 (Application for a competency certificate) form. The applicant must be submitted by the applicant together with the following supporting documentation to the Designated Firearms Officer situated in the area where you ordinarily reside:
    • official identify document
    • your original training certificate issued by an accredited by an accredited training provider (SASSETA)
    • two unobscured passport size colour photographs (with a neutron background) not older than 3 months,
    • any other supporting documents.
  • 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). Submit the completed SAPS 271 form to the Designated Firearms Officer (DFO) situated in the area where you ordinarily reside.
  • You must take the following documents with you to the DFO:
    • your original official identity document
    • original Competency Certificate (if it has already been issued)
    • letter of appointment as executor, if the firearm is inherited
    • two unobscured passport-size colour photographs, not older than three months
  • You must fully motivate your application and submit supporting documents in support of your application.
  • 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 an expenditure receipt (Z263) as proof of the payment, which you must submit to the DFO to enable the continuance in processing the application.
  • You will receive a signed acknowledgment of receipt (SAPS 523) as proof that you have submitted an application for a licence to possess a firearm.
Legal framework

(Documents are provided in PDF format. To open PDF documents, you need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader 4 or higher installed on your computer.)

Firearms Control Act, 2000 (Act 60 of 2000)

Service standard

The DFO will send the application form, as well as the supporting documents, to the Central Firearms Register (CFR) for consideration. After the successful consideration of your application for a firearm licence, 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). The DFO will carry out a physical inspection of your premises to ascertain that you have met the requirements for a safe. Upon receipt of the successful Safe Inspection Report, your licence will be printed and sent to the Designated Firearms Officer to be handed to you against a signature in the SAPS 86 register.


  • Competency Certificate: R70
  • Firearm licence: R140
Forms to complete

(Forms are provided in PDF format. To open PDF documents, you need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader 4 or higher installed on your computer.)

Contact details

National Firearms Call Centre: 012-353 6111

SAPS National Firearms Call Centre:
Province: National
City/town: Pretoria
Tel: 012 353 6111
Fax: 012 353 6036
Web address:



Tags: , , ,

Category: Firearm Licence

Comments (44)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Errol Tshabalala says:

    How long does the whole process take from the first day of the competency training to the day of issue? (more or less)

  2. Gary says:

    I have applied for my licenses almost 2 years ago and eventually in January this year (2011) when I called the call centre they advised that my applications have been refused despite the fact that my competancy was approved. I have been waiting for the refusal letters but nothing is arriving in the mail. I was advised that it can also be faxed to me however when I phone the call centre they put me from one person to the next where I spend an hour on the phone with no result. Can anybody help me and advise what I can do to at least get a copy of my refusal letter so that I can take action and appeal?

  3. Cassie says:

    I submitted mine in August 2008 and I’m still waiting. Licence finally cleared fingerprints in March 2011. I was told be be patient for the next 6 months. So the whole process will take more than 3 years.

  4. Pieter says:

    Hi there,

    I have an old green license, but had to apply for new license+competency very soon (born in March)

    My competency certificate is going to expire now on 2012-01-29.

    Given the ruling/pending ruling, do I have to continue with the process, or does my Green Licence cover me? (If so, do I go to my local Police Station?)

    Your help would be appreciated.

    Or where should I go to find out?


  5. Peter Francis says:

    Good morning,
    I applied for my licence in March 2010 – all relevant papers were handed in including my compentancy certificate and training certificate – I have now received a letter from the firearms department advising me that my compentancy certificate was declined as the certificate was not included with my application. It is not my fault that the police officer who assisted me at the time did not include all the relevant paperwork as this was handed in to them. Where do I go from here?? I have sent an appeal to the chairperson at the firearm department to advise that all documents were handed in at the time I applied for my licence but still waiting for their reply.
    Please can you give me some advice?
    Kind regards

  6. Viren says:


    I have applied for my licence in 2008 and have recieved a letter of refusal in Jan 2010 I have appealed in Jan 2010 up until now I am trying to get hold of some to find out how far is this gone, and always gets tranfer from one person to another.
    This application is on for four years.
    Can someone help me sort this out.

  7. Laurinda says:

    I waited about a year or so for my competency card and I am still waiting for my license, They still have to do my safe inspection as well, This process has been going on for about 2yrs but I count myself lucky for the fact that I have received my competency. I suggest if you have your competency card issued by the SAPS and you are still waiting for your license, you can apply for a temporary license. I am going to do that now, as I will feel more at ease that way. The SAPS is required to give you feedback within 14 days, which means – they must either decline it or accept it and issue your temporary license.
    @Peter: To appeal the rejection of your competency is basically the only way I know to go about if that happens, but I am sure that you can submit your Application again, then just make sure that you staple all your paperwork to the application itself…that is what my designated firearms officer did, it looked all messy but he stapled the crap out of it.
    And also try to put as much paperwork in there as possible, targets you shot [if possible] it is not needed, i didn’t put any in but its just another tick for you. Make sure your motivational letter covers every aspect, in terms of your competency….rather too much than too little.
    I hope this helps you in some way.

  8. I lp maboyane, from zabrows security services insttution number 18770,we applied for about 10 company firearms only 2 were approved , 3 were issued and cancelled,and 5 were rejected up to so far i have beeen communicating with fire license department official mp vuma who said he will come back after investigating the matter but till now he never turnup,as a result for the year 2011 our security company have lost tenders wearlth about r2 000 000 because they needed armed guards, we need your intarvention in this matter to avoid futher damage oralternatively.hope this statement will speedly be processsed. Ck 2007/203693/23

  9. The above allegation of fire arm license refusal and delayment is the name of the game by fire arm license department refere to my statement descused narrer my situation i am also one of the victim of this circumstances,about 8 fire arm licence of my company are still held by the department for no reason whatsoever.

  10. Flippie van Vuuren says:

    Good Day

    I have been bussy with my licence application for over 6 years now. First the police station lost my application, then they found it aggain, then they lost it aggain, eventually after 5 years I recieved my competency card. Then I applied for my licence, I applied for a Hunting rifle, included pictures etc, they declined my application telling me that I can not apply for the hunting rifle as a self defence weapon???? I APPLIED FOR A HUNTING RIFLE..NOT A SELF DEFENCE WEAPON, luckily I made a copy of the docs BEFORE I sent it in, so I re-sent them with even more motivation. Clearly they are not in the mood to help, or to get the job done…you can make up your own mind, but in my mind they are plain and siple pathetic in their jobs. NO ONE should wait 6 years and still not have a hunting rifle licence!!

  11. Bathabile says:

    The call center is very in effective. I’ve been on the line waiting for an operator for almost ten mins which is unaccpetabkle.

  12. N.ZILILO says:

    My name is n.zililo

    on 2007 April i did shooting for handgun and shotgun where i filled the wag(wai) form fro me to apply for competency of both handgun and shotgun during the time competency were running a process of 3 years in oder to qualify for a competency,so the officer who assisted me to apply for a card of competency did not included handgun she used only shot gun.

    About 3 And half year my competency card to care shotgun came out when i was suffering with no job,i jutting took my card with me and attend one of biggest security company that employed in one day seeing me on the card of possessing a shotgun now i am living a successful life, eating nutritious food going in to the beach to swim whenever i like it to,so thanks verymuch for my card i could be garden boy if without it.

    Again on January 16 2012 i made my feather competency for handgun and on 11 may it came out .

    So now i made an firearm licence and i am still waiting officer in pretoria at national firearm office he said i must wait for 3 weeks or a month so guys i am very happy for what you did to me i was suffering too much if without all your help i guess i am nothing .

    I appreciate your help even my s.o.b on c.i.t is out within a month so pretoria city i am wondering how many appreciates should i give it to you for all what you have done for me.

    Thanks very much from n.zililo

  13. Norman Mphephu says:

    i need an application form for gun licence, i want to buy a gun from my friend, please help me

  14. Hello im from St Johns i need a help,head office of firearm register doesnt respond to my claim after the erronousiouly destruction of my fiream because i need it to re-issued.

  15. SIZWE says:

    I made a firearm license application last year 2013 on 14 OctoberI was told my application was refused, REF.6474638. The DFO told me to wait for the letter which states the reasons in order for me to appeal till to date I have not received that letter. The number I was given to call 012 353 6046 /6198 and request the letter rings non stop with no respond.Please help.

  16. fredrick coenraad grobler says:

    I want to now wy did they approve my firearm licence and wen do they send me som lettes

  17. Eugene says:

    Hi I want to buy firearm I want to know if it will be approved if I have suspended setance for 5 year now it hv 3 year I hv competence

  18. Caroline Olivier says:

    Good Day, I would like to know were to do and get started with doining my Firearm licence.

    Thank you.

  19. Jonathan says:

    I find it very strange why alot of comments speak about waiting a few years to get approved
    My brother and I did our training together and the training provider did our motivations for us
    We applied for competency and license to possess a firearm at the same time
    My brothers got issued within two months
    The only reason im still waiting is because i applied after him as i didnt have the funds at the time to purchase the firearm.
    Did you guys do all your motivations by yourselves?

  20. Timothy says:

    I got my competency within 2month nw I’m waitin for my license is 2 months now , crossing my fingers

  21. jonathan phiri says:

    hi there i just found out that my applecation is pending i just wanna know when will it be approved

  22. x.O Glock-M23 says:

    Hi m xolani n frm KZN, I applyd for firearm licence 10feb even nw still waiting, tried calling saps national they told me they finallising my application how long ths its take?

  23. Neels Pretorius says:

    I applied at Polokwane during the middle of March 2015 for 2 hunting rifle licenses and was notified that my application was received at CFR on 30 march 2015. The licenses was approved on 8 May 2015 and I am waiting for delivery to Polokwane to collect.

  24. Gavin Taylor says:

    I am in my second month of my application, my competency has been approved and I am awaiting my licence approval, The CFR call centre has been extremely efficiency and updated me within 2 minutes of the call. I hope my licence is approved but I can say that so far the system has worked extremely efficiently, my DFO is extremely helpful with any queries, all in all so far a fantastic experience, keep up the good work. Time will tell but impressed so far.

  25. nkosinathi says:

    I was apply my competency from June 05

  26. Gavin says:

    My Licence was approved on the 9th of november and now i am waiting for my card to be printed which is being done in Bhisho. Unfortunately the printing machine is currently down so we will wait and see. Good luck with your application, keep in touch with your DFO or contact the cfr directly on their number where you can query.

  27. Pravs says:

    Good day, I applied for my licence at the end of Aug 2015 and have so far only recieved 2 messages from SAPS, 1st was my competency is recieving attention and the 2nd was that my licence was receiving attention. This was in Sep 2015. i called the help desk and was transfered from one person to the next and on some occassions the call just ended. Anyone have some advice for me, I’m not sure what to do next.

  28. marcus mukwevho says:

    Hi my name is marcus mukwevho my licence aproved on 05th november so now i am just waiting the card to be printed and i hope soon i will get my card and thanx the firearm call centre this guy they are doing a good job chacha bye

  29. Keobokile says:

    Am actually new here so i was hoping to find more information based on how to get a firearm

  30. Deacann says:

    License was approved on the 2nd December 2015.
    HQ told me it was send to provincial (JHB) in Jan 2016.
    Provincial says they have not collected my stuff yet, and my local station has advised me that HQ is where the delay lies 99% of the time. Please it has been 7 months almost since I applied.

  31. hassen says:

    I received a sms to say my licence is at the Central firearms register, what happens next? How long still to go?

  32. Gavin Taylor says:

    Call your dfo and ask when they are going to collect. They normally collect once a week but some only collect once a month depending where they are located.

  33. Landie says:

    Hi. My Firearm application was received 12-12-2015.
    Last Processed day was 08-01-2016.
    I did follow ups in Feb, March and Today. Still no process since 08-01-2016.
    I did phone the National firearm Department and they just keep saying to phone back in a week or two.

    What should I do?

  34. RS says:

    Hallo. Hope someone here can give me some advice. I applied for my license on the 1st of FEB2016 have received a sms on the 28 March saying your Fire arm lice is receiving attention at Central fire arms Register. every time I phone CFR I get a different answer. the last I heard was its at licensing then it gos to consideration the other day they told me its at consideration goin back to licensing… does any one maybe know how long does it take and what is the process at the licensing office???

  35. brown says:

    I have being waiting I am bored of people who can’t do their job.but anyway they took laziness from our President S.A is boring dam

  36. ets says:

    I have submitted my gun licence and all documents about a year ago and after 6 months i phoned in again and was told it has been approved just needs to be printed and i am stil waiting for the card toe arrive..i phone every week and they tell my i must stop i can be glad its been approved hmmm stil waiting hoping for the best every week now


    Good afternoon,my licence was approved on the 21 April 2016,but my card has not been printed. I phoned Central Firearms Registration today they had confirmed that it has not printed yet. How long should i wait for printing? All the people i know who handed in their application way after i did mine and i was the one to assist them with the information on how and what it needed from them for their applications, got their licences long time ago and now they wondering what happened to mine.

  38. Ricardo says:

    Good day guys,

    I submitted my firearm license application to my DFO on 11 April 2016, but I still haven’t received that sms from CFR. Please advise a fellow.

  39. eddie says:

    hw long does competency take?

  40. Landie says:

    Good day to all.

    I battled to get answers as my licence was approved 29 April 2016 and a month later I haven’t received my licence card. I got through to a very helpful lady (Dimakato) at the licence printing department and my card was send to the wrong province. She arranged for reprinting and made sure it went to the right province. Expecting my card on Thursday. Please try to call 0123536937 / 0123536116 (just keep on trying as the phones just rings most of the time – I only got through on day 3 of phoning hourly) Good luck.

  41. Ricardo says:

    Good day Fellows,

    I received an sms today 20 June 2016 that my licence application is receiving attention at the Central Firearms Registry. How long will I have to wait now?

  42. hassen says:

    My license was not approved, “lack of motivation”, johan made me a new Motivation, have to start all over again. It sucks! Taking my new application in tomorrow(27/6/16). Hold thumbs up Please!

  43. hassen says:

    Approved Finally!!!

  44. Gavin says:

    Contact your dfo and ask them when they collect they all go on different days sometimes only once a month. Luckily mine went once a week. Good luck and stay safe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.