Competency & proficiency

Training is essential for anyone who wants to own a firearm and this is where you should start once you have made the decision to own a firearm.
Applying for a firearm license for self-defense? Here’s what you need to know

There are two Unit Standards that all first-time applicants need to complete. One is the Legal Test and relates to the new Firearms Control Act 60/2000, and the other involves Basic Firearm Training, which covers firearm safety, practical handling and section 49 of the Criminal Procedures Act, which covers the law around firearm use for the purpose of self-defense.

When you book your course at an ITA-accredited training center, you will be asked to collect your training material in advance. There is an open book test in the training manual which needs to be completed before the course takes place. All the answers can be found in the training manual. When you attend the course, the Instructor will work through the content in the training manual with you and then take you through the practical side of safe firearm handling and use. You will be expected to complete a closed book exam based on the same questions that were contained in the open book exam. Passing the open book, closed book and practical exam qualifies you for the Unit Standards. There are over 260 ITA-accredited training centers countrywide that make use of ITA training material.

For more information or assistance with the process for applying for your firearm, contact

Check the status of your firearm licence application online
Renewing your Firearm License

As a responsible firearm owner you are required to ensure that your firearm license remains up to date and valid and does not expire. It is required that you visit your local SAPS station and meet with the Designated Firearm Officer (DFO) ninety days before your existing license expires.

In order to successfully renew your firearm license you need to complete the following forms:

  • Competency Renewal: SAPS517(g)
  • Application for the Renewal of Firearm License: SAPS518(a) as well as the Annexure A which includes your firearm’s details

Together with the above forms, you will need a copy of your Firearm Training Certificate and your PFTC Statement of Results which would both have been issued to you by the training centre where you did your training.

Some SAPS stations request a copy of your motivation. For more information on renewals click here.

Licenses are valid for the following amount of time:

Competency Certificate 5 Years
Firearm License for Self-defence 5 Years
Firearm License for Business Purposes 5 Years
Occassional Sports Shooter 10 Years
Dedicated Sports Shooter 10 Years
Check the status of your firearm licence renewal online

More than 260 ITA Accredited Training Centres Countrywide


ITA training manuals are professionally put together and easy to use.
Make sure you choose a Training Provider that uses the ITA Training System.


Non-Accredited Training

Non-Accredited training is designed to help build skills in support of accredited courses offered by ITA.
Explore ITA Non-Accredited training options