Getting a license is not as hard as people would let you believe around a braai. It's just more paperwork then before. There is a court case in 2007 where the court awarded a license to possess a .50 caliber Browning sniper rifle to an applicant.
Where do I begin?
An applicant needs to apply for 2 things: a competency certificate and a license to possess a firearm. Remember there is a difference between owning and possessing. When you take your car for a service the garage is in possession of your car but you are still the owner. Therefore you are allowed to own a firearm but you may not possess it without a license.
You may therefore buy a firearm before you apply for a license. The firearm stays however in the possession of the gun-shop until you get a license. You have to apply to possess a particular fire-arm therefore first you have to buy the fire-arm.
Now you have to do a competency exam in order to apply for the certificate. Thankfully you may do the exam at accredited shooting ranges. It is very easy and takes about half a day for the seminar and the test.
When you have successfully finished the test you will receive a Certificate of Proficiency.
License to possess a firearm.
All the application forms will be provided to you by the police (just ask for the firearm department). Fill in the forms and remember not to lie, especially about previous convictions, it is a criminal offence.
The most important part of your application is your motivation. Your application will be refused if this is inadequate. So don't rush this.
You will always want to shoot at a shooting range so always put in sport-shooting as a motivation. You will have to join a shooting club which costs around R700 but it is worth while. Ask the club manager for a letter confirming that you are a member and partake in sport-shooting. Annex this document to your application. (NB!! put as much annexures as you can.)
If you are going to hunt with the firearm include a letter from a farmer confirming that you may hunt on his farm etc.
The motivations differ from the type of weapon so just mail or comment and I will provide you with some motivations.
Remember to always state that the particular firearm is is the only firearm that is suitable for your particular needs.
If you haven't received an answer from the Registrar within 6 months start threatening them with court action. Remember to take names.
If your application is dismissed you may appeal the decision within 90 days. This appeal is via an affidavit by yourself. The Registrar will provide you with reasons for the dismissal. Just answer to the reasons given.
You have to receive a reply within 45days after submitting your application.
Remember to phone the Registrar at least once a month for an update.