LICENSING OF FIREARMS
If the firearm owner is not in possession of a competency certificate issued by the Police (white credit card-type), the person has to attend a firearm training course through an accredited training institution in order to obtain the necessary certificates to apply for the competency certificate when applying for renewal of the firearm licence/s.
An occasional hunter can apply for a maximum of 4 firearm licences. Hunters (not registered as a business or collector) owning more than 4 firearms (including a self-defense weapon) must have dedicated hunter status in order to license more than 4 firearms.
One of the criteria when applying for dedicated hunter status is to have passed the CHASA proficiency grading theoretical and practical shooting tests. A member must attend a senior hunters’ course before being allowed to write/shoot the tests unless he/she qualifies for recognition for prior learning (PH or a Natal Bow Hunters certificate) and qualifies to only do the tests and do not have to attend a course.
The application for dedicated hunter status submitted to our office must include documentary proof of CHASA proficiency grading, previous hunting and letters from fellow hunters or a branch chairman.
The dedicated hunters committee only meets once a month or on receipt of 10 applications to review these. If a member would therefore apply for dedicated hunter status on 28 March and the committee has already met during March, the person will not receive dedicated status in time to apply for firearm licence renewals by 31 March. In terms of a document submitted by Hunters Forum members to the Minister of Safety and Security on 2 September 2005, an accredited hunting association can endorse a member’s motivation to be fair and that the caliber is suitable for the intended purposes. However, this can only be done once a committee member on our panel has screened the motivation. A member cannot walk into the office, expecting to walk out with an endorsement a few minutes later. Depending on the availability of committee members, it can take a few days.
On 2 September 2005, members of the Hunters Forum (all accredited hunting associations at the time) handed a document to the Minister of Safety and Security, “Guidelines on Application and Consideration of a licence to possess a firearm for hunting purposes.” KZN Hunting & Conservation is a member of the forum.
In line with the document, Accredited Hunting Associations can issue and endorsement to a member to the effect that:
- the Applicant is a proven hunter; and / or
- confirming the firearm’s suitability for the purpose.
The member must supply the accredited hunting association with a copy of his/her motivation for licensing the firearm. The association can then, depending on the member’s activities as well as suitability of the firearm, issue an endorsement.
It is very important to note that the association will not write the motivation on the member’s behalf and are under no obligation to issue endorsements. Every application will be reviewed before a decision will be taken regarding the issuing of such an endorsement.
Guideline to writing a motivation
Hunting Associations have requested the Hunters forum (which KZN Hunting & Conservation are part of), to develop a model motivation for application for a firearm license. Since January, the SAPS (CFR) have been accepting this proposal as the model framework for a successful motivation
The motivation of a model firearm license application has to comply with the following six requirements:
- Describing the need: What is the weapon required for? What type of game will be hunted and in which terrain? Will the weapon also be used to participate in shooting competitions? A description of how the concerned weapon will satisfy this need: List the technical attributes of the weapon – action, calibre, length of barrel – and explain the suitability thereof. Mention the type of ammunition that will be used i.e. bullet weights, velocity and how that would be useful with the type of game and the typical hunting conditions and distances
- Explanation of the unsuitability of current weapons: Indicate where the weapon concerned will fit into your battery. Explain why your existing weapons cannot fulfill the need, especially in terms of ballistic requirements. Mention the required weapon’s specific or special requirements and the use thereof Hunting and Shooting CV. Make mention of when you started to shoot and hunt.
- Outline your experience. Mention successes, species, trophies hunted and hunting locations. Indicate membership of associations and participation. List qualifications obtained, e.g. official measurer, training courses and managerial positions held Support from a Hunting Association.
- Attach a letter confirming membership and association participation as well as qualifications and positions held. It should furthermore, also support technically the suitability of the weapon for the use it would be needed for, as mentioned in point 2 above.
- Approach your hunting association for the endorsement of your application.
- Supporting documentation: Attach supporting documentation in aid of the claims in point 4 above. Hunting photos, trophy certificates, hunting licenses, removal permits, training certificates, testimonials from game farmers and hunting partners and the key to your application – a copy of your membership card of your hunting association