Firearm Amnesty

A New Firearm Amnesty was approved by Parliament on 31 July 2020.

The Firearm Amnesty will run from 1 August 2020 to 31 January 2021.

I believe that this will be the final Firearm Amnesty period made available for gun owners with expired licenses before the full weight of the law comes down on your head. After this, you may not be able to complain about the law being corrupt, or whatever is the “in” thing to say these days.

Do not end up like this because you failed to make use of the Firearm Amnesty

The hard fact is: YOU DID NOT RENEW YOUR LICENSE IN TIME. SO YOU ARE AT FAULT, regardless of your opinion.

Courts are adamant on the belief that people with expired licenses are in unlawful possession of firearms. The firearm amnesty may be your last resort.

Here is what you need to know (I will discuss the steps to follow to apply for the expired license below):

You must renew your Competency Certificate issued by the SAPS, but you can renew this together with your license application. (That was the conditions of the previous amnesty and I doubt it will be different.)

You do not have to redo the Firearm Training if you did the right stuff in the first place, but there may be one catch, though. If you did their training in 2009/2010 and you were one of those who stood in looooooong queues at firearm training centers to only do a quick course (test) on the Firearms Control Act alone, without any theoretical or practical training on a firearm/s, you may have problem in future. Yes, I am aware that some guru’s would want to stone me for saying that YOU NEED TO DO IT if you did not. Here is why:

Here is what the Law says about Competency and what everyone seem to miss or just prefer not to talk about:

Application for competency certificate

  1. (1) An application for a competency certificate to possess a firearm, to trade in firearms, to manufacture firearms or to carry on business as a gunsmith must be delivered to the Designated Firearms Officer responsible for the area in which the applicant ordinarily resides or in which the applicant’s business is or will be situated, as the case may be.

(2) Where a person has not previously obtained a competency certificate, a competency certificate may only be issued to such person if he or she—

(q) has successfully completed the prescribed test on knowledge of this Act;
(r) has successfully completed the prescribed training and practical tests regarding the safe and efficient handling of a firearm;

You can apply for a renewal of your SAPS Competency Certificate by just completing the application form and providing a copy of the current SAPS Competency. However, that was the past and might still be (FOR NOW). BUT what if the SAPS decide to check all your training and verify it towards the FCA clause above? Do you still think you will comply?

Here is what you need to have in place:

A training center certificate with 117705 Demonstrate Knowledge of the Firearms Control Act; as well as one or all of the following (relevant to you)

119649 Handle and Use a Handgun
119650 Handle and Use a Self-loading Rifle or Carbine
119651 Handle and Use a Manually Operated Rifle or Carbine
119652 Handle and Use a Shotgun

You also need a PFTC (Professional Firearm Trainers’ Council) Statement of Results stating the above. A Directive issued by the SAPS a few years ago states that the SAPS must accept a SASSETA certificate issued before end of 2014 as well. They don’t. Unfortunately, if you do not have a valid SASSETA certificate or a PFTC Statement of Results, you will have to redo the training. YES, I know…

Why you may not have the correct docs

There are many reasons why you may not have a SASSETA certificate. Whatever the reason is, is not their problem. All training centers where supposed to submit learner results to the SASSETA. SASSETA, in turn, was supposed to issue a certificate from their side. There was a huge delay in the issueing of certificates for many reasons. This in turn opened the market for many fly-by-night centers and fraudsters to sell certificates. It was all accepted by SAPS because there was no way to check validity. The PFTC started because of this (among other reasons). Today there are some training providers kicking against the new system and against the PFTC.

I cannot help to wonder what the reason would be for them to fight a system that works. The PFTC monitors and verifies training providers to make sure all firearm training centers comply and do honest and reliable training according to the set guidelines. Unfortunately, there will always be the guy who fights against a good system and try to defraud it. The verification conducted by the PFTC are done by selected Subject Matter Experts from the firearms training industry itself. Not every John Doe can become a verifier.

No wonder some old training providers out there are upset with the new “illegal” PFTC. The same directive from SAPS I mentioned above, also states that the PFTC is the governing body of firearm training and they in turn are being governed by the QCTO and not SAQA as in the past.

The right documents?

You probably wonder now if you have the right docs in place. If you have done your training before 2009 and your certificate still states the following: 10748 Use a Handgun; 10750, 10752, etc. you will have to redo the training because that only contained small parts of the Transitional Provisions of the Act and was not the full Unit Standard (117705 Demonstrate Knowledge of the Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000).

I have posted a video on our Facebook Page to explain and show you what the SASSETA certificate and the PFTC Statement of Results look like. Do yourself a favor and check it out here.

How to apply for a Firearm License during the Firearm Amnesty

As you probably know by now, the SAPS system does not allow you to renew an expired license. I am not a politician and the reason/s you may have heard or what the real reasons are, are not part of this discussion. The fact is, the SAPS system cannot accept it.

Here are the steps to follow during the Firearm Amnesty

  1. Hand in your firearm to the SAPS. (Yes, I understand your frustration, but there is no other legal way)
  2. You will have 14 days (the Amnesty Conditions are the same as the previous amnesty) to submit a full NEW application for the firearm license. I suggest you make sure you have all docs in place for the full new application BEFORE YOU HAND IN YOUR FIREARM. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MOMENT. Everybody is going to postpone until thew last moment.
  3. You will surrender you firearm to your nearest Police Station. Make sure that you have a SIGNED copy of the submission form that you submitted together the firearm.
  4. Make sure you have the correct training certificates in place for future reference. You may or may not need it now, but we don’t want it to backfire on you later. Do you really want to give them a reason to decline your application on a firearm you have nurtured for so many years?
  5. After you hand in your firearm, the SAPS will remove it from your name and you will be able to apply as if it is a new firearm you apply for (as if you are getting it from the state). Does that make sense? Apparently, there is no other way.
  6. You must ONLY complete the SAPS 522(a) form for Surrendering of Firearm Item(s) and NOT the SAPS 522(b) form for Forfeiture of Firearm Item(s).
  7. INSIST ON A COPY OF THE SAPS 548 (AMNESTY FORM) completed by the Amnesty Officer.

Documents for Application:

Yo will need the following documents when you submit your application during the Firearm Amnesty:

  • A certified copy of the applicant’s competency certificate (if already issued).
  • Completed SAPS 271 form.
  • A comprehensive motivation to support the need for the firearm licence, preferably in the form of a statement under oath or affirmation.
  • Provide a certified copy of the legal firearm licence, permit or authorization applicable to the specific firearm (if applicable).
  • Certified copy of your ID
  • Additional supporting documents
  • Copy of the SAPS 522(a) form


You must submit a full new applications with all the bells and whistles attached.

We can help. We charge R500 per firearm motivation anywhere in South Africa. Technology is amazing. Go and read the the latest Facebook post with reasons why Firearm License Applications get declined, regardless of what the “experts” say. I will post an updated one on that on shootersnetwork soon.


I will keep you updated on new developments regarding the Amnesty.

I will see you in the Members Area.