SA Hunters welcomes announcement about expired firearm licences

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

The South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association (SA Hunters) welcomes the announcement by SAPS that firearm owners whose licences expired, may now apply for new licences without having to hand in their firearms to the Police for safe keeping while their applications are being processed.

This directive follows on the Constitutional Court judgement of 27 May 2022 in the court case between SAPS and Fidelity, which had started in the High Court, escalated to the Supreme Court of Appeal, and finally ended at the Constitutional Court.

Fred Camphor, CEO of SA Hunters says this development brings relief for an estimated half a million firearm owners that forgot to renew their firearm licences in time. It affected mostly owners of handguns whose firearm licences (section 13) are only valid for 5 years. “They are not criminals and in most instances are responsible firearms owners that merely forgot to renew their licences in time. For at last fifteen years SAPS’ attitude towards these firearm owners placed them in a precarious position because they were facing criminal charges.”

The directive gives specific instructions to citizens that want to apply for a new licence. An applicant must present the firearm for which he/she requires a new licence, together with copies of the expired licence to the designated firearms officer (DFO) at their nearest police station for inspection and validation. The DFO will issue a verification certificate that is signed by both the applicant and the DFO. The firearm owner may take the firearm home and store it in an approved safe as regulated by the Firearms Control Act.

The applicant must comply with exactly the same requirements that apply to the application for a licence for a new firearm, such as a valid competency certificate.

The directive also deals with firearms from deceased estates. A copy of the executor’s letter and a copy of the licence or identity document of the deceased must by attached. The application will be dealt with according to the normal estate application route.

The national directive to Police stations is explicit in its instructions regarding the process and the time constraints that DFOs and the Central Firearms Registry (CFR) must follow in dealing with these applications. Camphor expressed his concern about the capacity of the police to deal with all the applications. “With the huge backlog in the system it remains to be seen if the DFOs and especially the CFR will be able to follow the prescribed process and deadlines.”

Members of SA Hunters that need assistance with their firearm applications can contact the national office at 012 808 900 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Members of the public may also approach the office of SA Hunters for support.