Sunday, 1 February 2009

Firearm license renewal... if you're born from 1Oct to 31Dec, then you have until 31Mar 2009 - here's a summary of what you need to do....

Here are some step-by-step explanations for the various options as well as some answers to FAQs.: I) keep it and license it; II) dispose of it at SAPS; III) dispose of it by selling it.

If you were thinking, "What about me - I was born in the period 1Jan to 30Sept - when can make my firearm legal??" - well, it seems that you've missed the boat! You've had from 1Jan 2005 to 31Mar 2008 to process your firearm license! If you have a good reason, then head over to the local DFO (Designated Firearms Officer) now and plead your case!

If you decide not to renew your current license (or have missed the deadline), then it will remain valid until the 30 June 2009. It is recommended that you should sell or ‘hand in’ either to a licensed firearm dealer or the police station in your area, before that date.

For those that this article is aimed at: South Africans born from 1Oct to 31Dec, here are your options and other info:

Captain John Newman ( is acknowledged with all the information that I have summarised below - I recommend that you refer to his full document after you've understood the summary below: LegalTest117705.pdf)

I) Keep it and license it: Steps to renew your license:
1a) Call at an ‘Accredited Service Provider’ (eg: Malakai Firearm Training) for assessment of your knowledge of the Legal requirements, as defined in the Act 60 of 2000, as specified for SASSETA under the ‘Unit Standard’ 117705. This is encompassed in the International Training Academy “Legal Test” manual, or the Afrikaans version named “Toets op die Wet van Vuurwapenbeheer”. Then “the new firearm applicant” will move on to the Practical components required, such as the Unit Standard 119649: ”Handle and use of handgun”. For more details refer to the detailed explanation (click here to download:
LegalTest117705.pdf) as written by Captain John Newman from Malakai Firearm Training).
1b) Purchase the manual to obtain your 'K' number - found on the front page - that will be used on all application forms and certificates.

2) Page to the centre core of the manual between pages 13 and 14 and remove this inclusive and pull out from the staples. The ‘Questionnaire’ consists of 55 questions to be filled in - each with a page reference to the answers. Now find each answer and fill them in and prepare for the closed book examination.
3) Make a booking for the examination at an Assessment Centre.
4) Take the test and get a Temporary Certificate which is stamped and signed as confirmation for the Police. Fill in your details for the ‘Registration of Learner on Firearms Skills Programme’ …. FCA 01 & 02. You will also need to sign in the ‘Assessment Register’.
5) Have 5 (five) photocopies made of your official ID book certified (at the local police station).
6) Take the 5 copies of your ID book, and your Temporary Certificate to the local DFO (Designated Firearms Officer). After showing your certificate to the DFO, you can then request your ‘Folder of Forms’.
This folder will contain:
i) your Competency Certificate (517);
ii) the Renewal application form (517e);
iii) 2 x fingerprint forms (91A) (fill in your details before the fingerprints are done at a Police Station); Note: the address field (after place of birth) is meant for your current address and not the address where you were born. Sign in the box at the right side of the form. Do not bend these two forms, as they are ‘folded’ in a specific way by the Police during the fingerprint processing.
iv) 1 x Sworn affidavit (confirming completion of the Assessment, demonstrating knowledge of the act 60 of 2000);
v) 1 x (each firearm) Firearm Description form, Annexure A: inspect your firearm and list all the markings and engraved details such as maker/manufacturer, including the address ....every name or description on the barrel, handle or frame must be included on the form as required.
vi) 1 x Computer read out on list of Firearms, held by you (as held by Central Firearms Registry).
vii) 5x certified copies of you I.D: 4 (four) of these will be included with your submission of completed forms and 1 (one) must be given to the Assessment Centre where you received your certificate on completion of the Legal Test (this would be the moment when you would receive your official certificate).
7) You need to add the following to your 'Folder of Forms':
i) 4 x photographs, specifically sized “Firearm Licence” in colour. On each of the 4 photos write in ‘Black ink’ your full names and ID numbers at the back of each picture;
ii)1 x Reference List (3 persons who will vouch for you) detailing their full names, full addresses, ID numbers and a contactable telephone number that they can be reached at during office hours, so that the police may interview them telephonically (please advise them that they will be contacted in due course);
iii) 1 x Motivation letter (on the rear of the firearm description form),
8) Fill in the forms.
9) Create a motivation letter: there is a space of 4 lines for you to state your reasons for wanting to keep your firearm(s). This does not provide sufficient space to write a convincing motivation, which should be not less than 350 words (That is less than an A4 page with large header and footer margins). Refer to Captain John Newman's article for a sample letter.
10) Use a paperclip (no staples anywhere!) to attach two photos to the form (as indicated).
11) Make your submission at the DFO: take your official ID book, all firearm licences, 'folder of forms' and money for payments: R70 for Competency and R70 for each and every firearm licence to be renewed.

II) Dispose of it at SAPS: Steps to hand in your firearms to SAPS:
Voluntary handing in of firearms to the South African Police Service can be done as follows:
1) Take the following with you to the relevant Designated Firearms Officer or designated member at the police station:
- Your original official identity document
- Your original firearms license, permit or authorisation for the firearm that will be handed to the SAPS
- The applicable firearm and/or ammunition that will be handed to the SAPS
2) You will be required to complete the relevant sections of the SAPS 522(a) - Surrendering of firearm item form.
3) The Designated Firearms Officer or a designated member at the police station will take possession of the firearm and/or ammunition and the relevant license, permit or authorisation.
4) Ensure that you receive an acknowledgement of receipt as proof that the firearm and/or ammunition and the relevant license, permit or authorisation have been handed to the SAPS.
5) The firearm will be deregistered from the SAPS Firearms Register System.
6) The firearm will be destroyed by the SAPS.

No cost is incurred by a person who voluntarily hands in a firearm and/or ammunition to the SAPS for destruction. Any person who destroys or alters a firearm will be committing an offence and may be criminally charged.

III) Dispose of it by selling it: Unwanted Firearms:

Any person who no longer wishes to possess any licensed firearm may dispose of it in any one of the following ways:
1) Sell the firearm to a licensed dealer.
2) Sell the firearm to another person who must successfully obtain a license to possess the particular firearm.
3) Have the firearm deactivated by a licensed gunsmith after approval has been received from the SAPS.
4) Hand the firearm to the SAPS for destruction.
5) Have the firearm permanently exported.
6) Sell the firearm to an accredited business.

Sample letters:
1) Reference Providers Letter:
See here sample letter:

2) Motivation Letter:
See here sample letter: LegalTest117705.pdf

FAQ’s as listed and answered by Captain John Newman:

Q) Do I have to do a ‘Legal Test’ for each type of Firearm I own?
A) See here for the answer: LegalTest117705.pdf

Q) What if I am late with my submission for renewal, two years or so?
A) See here for the answer: LegalTest117705.pdf

Q) If I decide ‘not to renew my firearm licence’ will my firearm be illegal?
A) See here for the answer: LegalTest117705.pdf

Q) My wife is also a licensed firearm owner; can she use the same manual once I have completed my requirements?
A) See here for the answer:

Q) Question 8 of the manual shows a picture of an individual who appears to have a fully automatic rifle - is this correct?
A) See here for the answer:

Q) I can’t find the answer I need in the relevant Chapter, how should I answer this question?
A) See here for the answer:

Q) I would like to keep my rifle for display, without having to renew my licence, can I weld up the breech and barrel to de-activate it?
A) See here for the answer:

Q) OK then, I will just go to the beach and throw it away in the sea!
A) See here for the answer:

Q) Where can I surrender my unwanted firearm other than the Police Station?
A) See here for the answer: LegalTest117705.pdf

Q) What if I have more than one firearm, will I have to hand the others to the Police for destruction?A) See here for the answer:

Q) This procedure is too involved and I would rather ‘hand in’ my firearm, its less trouble!
A) See here for the answer:

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