Clarity over new gun licensing directive

Legal firearm owners who may have been confused and worried by a recent police directive regarding firearm competency certificates and gun licenses can take heed of advice from the South African Gunowners’ Association (SAGA).

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The confusion arose when a directive from the Central Firearms Registry (CFR) said that, as from 8 February 2016, firearm owners could no longer submit their SAPS 517 competency application and their SAPS 271 firearm license application simultaneously to their local SAPS Designated Firearms Officer (DFO).

SAGA spokesperson John Welch explained that the CFR directive was only applicable for new firearm licence applications, and not to applications for the renewal of existing firearm licenses.

Welch also said that any existing licensed gun owner who needed to apply for a renewal of their firearm competency certificate and for a renewal of their firearm license could still submit these applications together to their local DFO.

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SAGA urged all of SA’s licensed firearm owners to lodge renewal applications not less than 90 days prior to the expiry date of existing gun licences. This would help avoid any unnecessary delays in the acceptance and processing of the applications.

SAGA also sought to remind licensed firearm owners that firearm licences issued for self-defence purposes in terms of section 13 of the Firearms Control Act, No. 60 of 2000 were valid for five years as opposed to firearm licenses issued under sections 15, 16 and 17 of the Act, which were valid for 10 years.