Renewing your firearm licence in South Africa can be a daunting task. For many, it has been years since they had to deal with the often frustrating and snail pace South African Police Service. It is a well known fact that many police stations have different requirements from their neighbouring areas. Because of this, many law abiding South Africans regrettably hand their firearms in or sell them to gun shops. This is never a good idea, given the disgusting rise in violent crime this nation is enduring on an ongoing basis.
Fortunately, we are here to make this process as easy as humanly possible. We offer a comprehensive service which allows you to rest easy and let us do all the hard work.
The Firearms Control Act dictates that firearm licences need to be renewed periodically. Self defence licences (section 13) need to be renewed every 5 years. Occasional sport shooting or hunting (section 15) and dedicated sport shooting or hunting (section 16) need to be renewed every 10 years.
Your firearm competency is seen to be valid for 5 years (although some disagree), if there are no firearms licensed in the same firearm class for which the competency was issued. If you have firearms licensed, the corresponding competency remains valid until the last licence in that class expires.
Firearm licences and competency renewals must be renewed at least 90 days before the date of expiry. This is done by preparing application packs which must include, a SAPS 518(a) form along with annexure A. If your firearm competency also needs to be renewed, you will need to complete the SAPS 517(g) form. A rough checklist can be found on the SAPS website. We would however recommend rather checking in with us before working off their checklists, which are often outdated.
How do I know if my licence needs renewing?
It is rather simple to ascertain whether or not your competency and licences require renewal.
Licences issued after 2004 will have their period of validity printed on the front,
eg, 2020-03-06 – 2030-03-05
If you do not have additional valid licences in the same class of firearm, it is safe to assume that your competency certifiace also needs to be renewed. There is no need to stress, as this merely involves a bit of paperwork. No need to write tests.
Why do you need to renew your competency and licence?
To put it quite simply, the reason you are required to renew your competency and licence is to ensure that you are still compliant with the Firearms Control Act. 5 to 10 years is a long time and a lot can change. A firearm licence holder may have become senile or mentally unstable.
The process of renewing a firearm licence involves correctly compiling and submitting an application pack, as well as presenting your firearm to your DFO (designated firearms officer) for inspection. You will also need to ascertain if your competency certificate also need to be renewed. The below steps are assuming that we assist you in the process.
This first step seems rather arbitrary, however this is the biggest problem for most licence holders. Many people wake up too late to the fact that their licences have expired or are about to expire. Once your licence expires, you will find yourself in a sort of “legal limbo” where you are unable to renew your licence, sell it to a dealer or private person, or even give it away to anyone besides the SAPS. The only two options you will have is to hand it in to SAPS, or keep it locked away in your safe and wait for another amnesty period. It must be noted that some interpret the recent appeals court ruling in such a way that deems keeping the firearm in your safe as unlawful.
We receive requests weekly from clients who’s licences are expiring in a few days. At this point, it is often too late, as they are technically in contravention of the law. In addition to this, we require 10 working days to complete the compilation of your pack.
We recommend getting in touch to start the process at least 4 months before the expiry date. This ensures that you stay compliant and don’t have to deal with the stress of getting the necessary documents together on short notice.
Once you have identified the need to renew your competency and / or licence, it is time to make contact with us. This is incredibly easy and can be done is several user friendly ways.
Phone – We have a dedicated specialist available to assist you with telephonic queries during office hours. 09:00 to 17:00 week days and 09:00 to 13:00 on Saturdays.
Whatsapp – We run a professional business whatsapp profile dedicated to assisting clients in a professional and beneficial way.
Email – We pride ourselves in putting a real focus on customer service. As such our emails are constantly monitored and a quick response time is maintained.
Website – For those that choose to browse our website, there is a handy contact form which can be utilized.
Social media – We are present on a number of social media sites, mainly Facebook and Instagram. Feel free to drop us a DM (Direct Message) to receive a quick response.
Google my Business – Our google business profile is another way you can get in touch.
Once initial contact has been made, we will consult with you and establish exactly what you require and the best way forward. Many people don’t know exactly what they need. We take great pride in making this experience as simple and pleasant as possible.
Once contact has been made and a brief consultation has taken place, we will then send you the relevant mandate form via email. The purpose of this mandate form is to gather the critical information necessary to accurately compile your application pack.
Filling in the mandate has been made as simple as possible. All you will need to do is provide some basic information, such as full names, ID number, address and a short bio, work, hobbies, etc.
We use this basic information to craft a tailored application of usually between 40 to 70 pages, building a story around you as an individual. For this reason, the more comprehensively the mandate form is completed, the better.
In addition to the basic information required, we will also need a few document, which can be found on the checklist section of the form.
Some of the basic documents required are, a copy of your ID, Recent proof of address, safe photos, training and proficiency certificates, copies of current licences and competencies.
Once you have completed the mandate form, all you ned to do is return it to us in via email. Some clients prefer to deliver the mandate in person, which is also perfectly fine.
Please feel free to request a mandate form for your perusal.
Once we have received all of the required documents, we require 10 working days to complete your application pack.
This is the part of the process where the magic happens.
Our team of skilled licensing professionals analyse the information and documents contained in the mandate form and get to work crafting the perfect application pack.
Each clients application pack is unique. We go to great lengths to ensure that each application pack is worthy of our legendary Money back Guarantee.
This part of the process includes:
• The correct completion of all relevant SAPS documentation.
• Ensuring the attachments and annexures provided are legally sound.
• The professional drafting of a 40 to 70 page detailed motivation.
• The printing and compilation of your entire application pack.
You will be notified as soon as your application pack is complete. You can then either collect your completed envelope from our shop, or have it couriered to your doorstep. We service the entire country.
Once you have taken possession of your application pack, it is time to get it to your local DFO.
SAPS periodically change the rules through their own internal mandates and procedures.
An example of this is that you are now required to make an appointment with your DFO. You can do this either telephonically or by email.
Once your appointment date has arrived, we recommend arriving at the Police station half an hour early to have your document certified in the charge office. This is another recent change that has occurred. Some DFOs are now requesting that applicants have their documents certified before hand. Ensure that you take your original documents with for the purpose of certification.
Your DFO will accept your application pack and ask you sign certain pages as well as a few additional documents, such as your declaration and finger print form.
You will also be required to make payment of R77 per firearm licence renewal as well as R77 for the renewal of your competency. You will receive a payment receipt. Make sure that you keep this safe!
This receipt will be your proof that you have submitted your renewal on time. Your licence will remain valid until the renewal application is finalised. This will only be the case if you can produce the payment receipt.
You will also be expected to bring your firearm in so that the DFO can inspect the calibre and serial number.
All in all, this does not need to be a tedious process. We have designed our whole business around the client experience. We are here to hold your hand every step of the way.
One big take away should be to catch your licences before they expire, ensuring that you don’t become one of the unfortunate few who get stuck in the legal limbo. We recommend checking all of your licence cards right away and making notes on your calendars at least 4 months before expiry.