Firearm License process

Firearm license application process: step-by-step guide

  • Complete the proficiency training from an accredited training provider. Ensure the training provider is registered with the Professional Firearms
  • The training included an practical and theoretical assessment

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 1196519
  • 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

After sucessful completion of the training, the training provider must provide you with the training certificates The training provider will also send your training results to the PFTC which will in turn furnish you with your official certificate. This certificate is proof of your qualification acknowledged by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) This document will form the basis of your application.

NOTE: Hang on to ALL your originals. Make certified copies for your applications


Apply for your competency certificate from SAPS. This is done by completing the SAPS 517 form. This may take some time.

NOTE: This application is also supported by character references from family or friends.


Once you receive your competency certificate, you can now start with the firearm application The application to own a firearm must be completed on SAPS 271.

Ensure you select the correct category of firearm ownership.


Submit the Application

The following documentation must accompany your application:

  • Copy of your Identification Document
  • Copy of your Competency Certificate
  • Copies of your proficiency training certificates issued by your accredited training provider
  • Copies of your PFTC certificates – if available – confirming the validity of your proficiency training
  • Copy of an utility account not older than three months to prove address
  • Photographs of your safe showing fixtures to the wall to secure it
  • Two color passport photographs of yourself, which are not older than 3 months
  • Copies of proof of current paid-up membership of all associations and/or shooting clubs you belong to
  • Copies of your dedicated status certificates (either as hunter or as sports-person [or both]) if relevant
  • Copies of any membership from all clubs and associations you belong to
  • Other that the proficiency training, any other firearm related training you have completed
  • In the case of an application for a hunting firearm an invitation or statement from a game ranch owner that you may hunt on his farm – or that you do so regularly
  • A full and complete motivation stating the purpose and need for the firearm you want the license for

In case of an estate:

  • Certified copy of the Letter of Executor-ship
  • Certified copy of Id document of Executor and Executors letter
  • Transfer letter from Executor stating that the applicant is the heir of the firearm
  • Alternatively, if not the heir, that the heir is not interested in the firearm
  • Certified copy of the deceased’s death certificate and ID
  • Photographs of your safe showing fixtures to the wall to secure it
  • Copy of deceased’s license, front and back, if available – alternatively an affidavit from the executor confirming the missing documents

Do not submit original documents as it may be required in the future

Keep a full copy of your entire application for your own records

Be sure to contact your DFO to determine which days they are open and if you are required to make a booking


Collect your license card and pick up your firearm from your dealer. This is the fun part of firearm buying a new firearm. It is also the step where your responsibility starts. Always adhere to all the safety aspects.

See firearm safety guidlines

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