Dedicated Licences: Part 1 Process of becoming Dedicated – By Damian Enslin
Here we deal with dedicated sports shooting and hunting licence applications in terms of Section 16 of the Firearm Control Act 60 of 2000 (FCA).
It states: “16 licence to possess firearm for dedicated hunting and dedicated sports-shooting”
A firearm in respect of which a licence may be issued in terms of this section is any –
(a) handgun which is not fully automatic;
(b) rifle or shotgun which is not fully automatic;
(c) any semi-automatic shotgun manufactured to fire no more than five shots in succession without having to be reloaded; or
(d) barrel, frame or receiver of a handgun, rifle or shotgun contemplated in paragraph (a), (b) or (c).”
(1) The Registrar may issue a licence in terms of this Section to any natural person who is a dedicated hunter or dedicated sports person if the application is accompanied by a sworn statement or solemn declaration from the chairperson of an accredited hunting association or sports-shooting organisation, or someone delegated in writing by him or her, stating that the applicant is a registered member of that association.
(2) A firearm ……….
(3) Every accredited hunting association and sports-shooting organisation must –
(a) Keep a register which contains such information as may be prescribed; and
(b) Submit an annual report to the Registrar which contains such information as may be prescribed.”
A DEDICATED SPORTS SHOOTER OR HUNTER MUST BELONG TO AN ACCREDITED ORGANIZATION.
A reading of the above indicates that it is quite simple to obtain a dedicated sports shooting or hunting licence. However, there are various pitfalls awaiting even the experienced applicant. Breaking down Section 16 (2) above, it is clear that the basic provisions are that, before somebody can become a dedicated sports shooter or hunter, such a person must belong to an accredited organisation. Sports shooting and hunting organisations are subject to a stringent application process with the SAPS, and must first affiliate to various national and international bodies before they can obtain accreditation from the SAPS. Once the accreditation has been granted, the accredited organisation must keep accurate records of its members, particularly with respect to the maintenance of dedicated status, and must submit an annual report to SAPS CFR on its members. Once the sports shooter or hunter has joined an accredited organisation, and wishes to obtain dedicated status, he or she must then comply with the criteria set down by the organization – firstly, to obtain dedicated status, and thereafter to maintain it.
Typically, the requirements are that the applicant must attend an orientation course and /or classifier with sometimes oral or written examinations, along with some form of practical shooting, in addition to a vetting process, before the person can apply for dedicated status. There can also be a required number of shoots to be undertaken before the member can apply for dedicated status. Once dedicated status has been granted, the member must maintain the dedicated status by competing actively, and completing the required number of shoots per year. The benefit of a Section 16 licence is that it is valid for ten years, which is the same period as for occasional licences. However, there are no restrictions on the quantity of ammunition that may be held by the dedicated member, as long as the licence is in terms of Section 16. There is also, in theory, multiple types of firearms that one can own as a dedicated person, and therefore the four-gun limit that the occasional person is restricted to can be exceeded by the dedicated sports shooter or hunter. Therefore the hunter can have a number of firearms for different hunting purposes – for different terrains or animals – including rifles and shotguns. A sports shooter can own multiple semi-automatic pistols and revolvers, shotguns, and rifles for different divisions that he or she may compete in.
This article was originally published in Gun Africa edition 28.