New firearm owners

Apply for competency.

The first steps to take for any new potential firearm owner is to successfully complete the prescribed proficiency training from any accredited training provider registered with the Professional Firearms Training Council (PFTC) or make use of the in-house training provider at a Partner near you.

The training covers five basic unit standards.

You do not need a license in terms of the FCA to own a black powder firearm, just the competency.

The training covers six basic unit standards:

  • Knowledge of the Act, Units Standard 117705 as well as practical tests
  • Use of a Handgun, Unit Standard 119649
  • Use of a Manually Operated Rifle, Unit Standard 119651
  • Use of a Shotgun, Unit Standard 119652
  • Use of a Self-loading Rifle or Carbine – Unit Standard 119650
  • Handle and Use a Muzzle-Loading Firearm – Unit Standard 243200

On completion of the training you would need to write the proficiency exam and complete the practical assessment. After successful completion, the training provider should provide you with the training certificates. You should also receive the Statement of Results which has reference to the PTFC.

The training provider will also send your results to the PTFC, who in turn will furnish you or your training provider with an official certificate. You should make sure you receive this document as it is needed for your competency application. This certificate is proof of your qualification acknowledged by SAQA, the South African Qualifications Board. This qualification is the same as your matric certificate of university degree. It cannot lapse or be declared null and void. Hang on to ALL your original certificates.

Step two would be to apply for your competency certificate from the SAPS by completing the SAPS517 form. Any of the Wildman stores can assist with this.

Step three, the completed SAPS517 form should now be submitted to your local Designated Firearm Officer (DFO) together with copies of your proficiency documents as well as two character reference letters from spouse, friends or family or a neighbour. You would also need to have your fingerprints taken and pay a fee. Your DFO will now submit this application to the Central Firearms Registry (CFR)

SAPS will now do background checks and verify that you have no criminal record and if all is in order, issue you with a competency certificate.

Expiry of Competencies

Self-protection – 5 years (Section 13)
Occasional hunting or sports-shooting – 10 years (Section 15)
Dedicated hunting or sports-shooting – 10 years (Section 16)
Professional hunting 10 years (Section 16A)
Business as a game rancher or in hunting – 10 years (Section 20)
Business other than game ranching or in hunting – 5 years (Section 20) Possession of a Muzzle loader – 10 years (Black Powder Competency)

You are not allowed to conduct any business activities with a rifle you have licensed under Sections 15 or 16. Eg. Professional Hunter outfitter, security etc….

NOTE: You must be in possession of a valid competency to apply for or renew any firearm license. Any competency, according the FCA should be renewed at least 90 day before it expires.

Once you are in possession of your competency certificate, you can now apply for your firearm license.

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