Firearms are inordinately used to perpetrate crimes. By reducing the use of firearms in crime, ranging from murder to domestic violence to robbery, the risk of death or severe injury will decline significantly. Taking guns out of crime will save many lives, which sets out to enhance the constitutional rights to life and bodily integrity.
Before Obtaining a Firearm Licence
You need a competency certificate. This means writing a test and doing practical training in the safe handling of a firearm. The South African Police Service (SAPS) will do background checks. You have to inform SAPS of any aspects, which would influence a decision to grant a firearm licence. SAPS will ensure that a person who is dependent on any substance, mentally unstable or shows an inclination to violence will not get a competency certificate. The competency certificate is valid for 5 years.
Once you have a valid Competency Certificate you can apply for a licence to own a Gun
The Firearms Control Act limits the number of guns for which you can get a licence: One gun for self-defence Up to four funs for occasional hunters or sports shooters (but only one handgun) No limit for dedicated hunters and sports shooters, but they must be proven members of hunter and sports organisations and show a need for additional firearms No limit for people who use firearms for business purposes: security companies, firearm instructors, game hunters There is a five-year transition plan allowing those who already have gun licences to gradually fit into the new system.
Firearm Owner can be declared unfit by SAPS to possess a firearm if: a
A final protection order in terms of the Domestic Violence Act has been issued against you
You have threatened to kill or injure yourself or another person by means of a firearm or any other dangerous weapon
You are mentally unstable, display violent behaviour or is dependent on any substance such as drugs or alcohol
You do not store the firearm in a safe place A person can pay an administrative fine for minor offences but faces a possible prison sentence if convicted of major offences.
From July 2004 owners have to re-apply for firearm licences. All firearm licences must be renewed every:
2 years for business purposes
5 years for self-defence
10 years for hunting or sports shooting You can only own 200 rounds of ammunition for each gun you own and only ammunition suitable for that particular gun.