A firearms licence is first broken up into classes (A, B, C, D & H). Each class represents different types of firearms.
Each class is then broken up into 12 categories:
For further information about firearms classes or purposes of use please contact SAPOL Firearms Branch
Step One – How to understand the licensing System
The first step is to understand the types of licensing. That way depending on the type of firearm and use you have for it, will then determine what training you will require. Read the first FAQ above for this information
Step Two: Police Background Check
The Police station will then forward the application to Firearms Branch through the internal mail system. Firearms Branch will then undertake a background check to consider if you are a suitable person to hold a firearms licence.
If you are considered a suitable person, Firearms Branch will send you a ‘training letter’ advising you of the training you will be required to undertake. The training locations will differ depending on the category. For Example:
Step Three – Training
The next step for the applicant is to undertake the training. The training varies depending on the class of firearm involved and its category.
Category 1 – Shooting club
Training for category 1 (shooting club) is done through your local club. Each SSAA club has a training instructor, which can assist you in obtaining a Category 1 licence.
Please note, a club can only train for the classes of firearm it shoots. For example,
Please make sure that the club shoots the types of matches you are interested in prior to undertaking the training. Most SSAA clubs shoot A, B and H so it should not be a problem.
Training consists of both practical and theory sessions. These requirements will vary depending on the class of firearm and local club by-laws. Please check with your club for details.
Once the applicant has completed the training, the club will sign off the licence application for the appropriate classes (A, B and or H).
Category 2, 3 & 4 – Target Use, Hunting and Paintball
Training for Category 2, 3 and or 4 is done through TAFE SA. These courses are one full day and have a theory and practical component. The courses are held at Regency plus a number of country areas across the state.
For further information about TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or TAFE SA Courses
A couple of items to note prior to starting any training for category 2, 3 & 4.
Applicants wishing to apply for hunting on their licence will also need to apply for a hunting permit with the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR). Information and permit applications can be found at Information:DEWNR
Applicants wishing to start shooting in club competitions will need to updated their licence to include category 1.
Step Four – Completion of Training
When justifications and training certificates are received from either the Club, TAFE, employer etc, Firearms Branch will send you a ‘data card’, with which you attend at a photo point, again provide your 100 points of identification and pay the prescribed licence fee. Upon payment, an ‘interim licence’ will be issued.
Current Licence Fees from SAPOL
You should receive your photographic licence within 28 days.
Graduated Access section 15A (4b) – Class H
Please note for handguns.
Legislation now prohibits the purchase handguns within the first 6 months from the granting of a Class H firearms licence for club use.
For the second 6 months of a new Class H licence for club use, purchase is restricted to the following;
1 air or gas operated pistol or a .22 calibre pistol or 1 centre-fire pistol or,
1 air or gas operated pistol and 1 .22 calibre pistol or,
1 air or gas operated pistol and 1 centre-fire pistol
This restriction does not apply to muzzle loading or percussion cap and ball handguns. Refer section 15A (4e).
The club secretary may keep the graduated access provisions in mind when issuing purchase chits however the Adjudication staff within Firearms Branch will monitor this aspect.
Classes are the types of firearms you own (A, B, C, D, H) and the purposes of having that firearm are the numbers next to the letters, (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 & 12). The definitions can be found on the back of your firearms licence, or in the firearms act and regulations by clicking here (Link to other page).
If you have a 1 next to any of the categories (A,B,C,D,H), it means you have a licence to use a firearm within a shooting club. To renew the licence for Category 1 (cat 1) you will need to show that you are an active member of a club.
The instructions below go through the process for renewing your licence or category 1 for A, B and H at for a SSAA Club.
Long arms licences are either 1, 2 or 5 years. If you have A1 and /or B1 on your licence, you are required to obtain a chit from the club stating you are an active member.
Chits are written out by the club signatories for the club you are a member of. Usually the club signatory is the clubs secretary; however some of the larger clubs may have multiple signatories for you to access. It is preferable to contact the signatory to organise your chit a couple of weeks before your licence expires instead of leaving it for the day of expiry.
When you ask for a chit, you will need to show your current firearms licence, your club membership and your SSAA membership card, All documents need to be still in date.
The secretary is required by Law to inform SAPOL of those members who are no longer active members of a SSAA Club within 28 Days.
Once you receive you chit, you can then go to renew your firearms licence. Make sure that the chit is attached to your licence renewal as they can separate by accident through the post.
Renewing your handgun licence (Class H cat 1)?Renewing your licence for handguns is similar to long arms however a person also needs to do a required number of shoots to show they are an active member. Pistol licences are broken up into 4 categories.
Category 1 – Air or gas operated handguns,
Category 2 – .22 Rim-fire handguns,
Category 3 – Centre-fire handguns not more than .38 calibre, and
Category 4 – handguns over .38 calibre.
Over the 12 months before your licence expires, a member must participate in 6 organised competitive shooting matches. Competitive shooting matches are ones that have been programmed by the club. ?Additionally, a member must for each other category of handgun registered in his or her name, complete 4 club organised shoots.
Member A does not own any Handguns but has H1 on their licence.
They are required to do 6 shoots in any category over a 12 month period…
Member B owns a .22 Handgun
They are required to do 6 x category 2 shoots over a 12 month period…
Member C owns two .22 calibre handguns and a .45 calibre handgun
They are required to do 6 x category 2 shoots and 4 x category 4 shoots every 12 months.
They can do 6 x category 4 shoots and 4 x category 2 shoots every 12 months…
When your licence is up for renewal you will be required to provide evidence of the shoots you have attended.
You will also need to show your current Firearms licence, you club membership card and your SSAA membership card. Once you receive you chit, you can then go to renew your firearms licence. Make sure that the chit is attached to your licence renewal as they can separate by accident through the post.