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Gun Disposal Options

According to the South African Police Service (SAPS), firearm owners who choose not to renew their firearm licences had to dispose of their firearms before 1 July 2009.

Firearm owners have the following legal gun disposal options:

  • having the firearm deactivated by a licensed gunsmith after approval from the Registrar;
  • selling the firearm to a licensed dealer;
  • selling or donating the firearm to another person who has legally obtained a firearm licence;
  • permanently exporting the firearm; or
  • handing the firearm over to the police to be destroyed or sold to an accredited legal entity.


 Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question. It will be answered as soon as possible via email.

19 comments to Gun Disposal Options

  • Hey my mother has a pistol not sure of the make or any thing all I know is that her license expired and she does not know what to now as it is an unlicensed firearm now and not sure about the procedure of what to do now can some one please tell me what to tell my mom what to do

  • Doug L

    Hi there, I posess a .32cal Ruby revolver and a couple of boxes of ammo. When the new licencing procedure started, a friend of mine tried and it was such a hassle that I didn’t go ahead. It is still listed in my green ID book. What can I do as I now posess an ‘unlicensed firearm’.

  • Ryan

    Hi there. Please help… My father passed away about 13 years ago and we only found out now that he had five handguns and a shotgun. Only some of them were licensed under the old law and the rest don’t seem to have been licensed at all. I would really like to just get rid of them. What are my options since I know I can’t just simply hand them in to the police… Can I sell them? Or how do I legally dispose of them?

  • G Saaiman

    I want to know what forms do I need to fill in when I sell a gun and what forms do the purchaser need to fill in when he bay the gun.

  • David Parratt

    Hi. Pretty much the same as the above people. My belated father in law passed away 15 years ago and has guns that my mother in law wants to give to me. His guns have not been licenced and I have my compentency and would like to apply for a licence for my father in laws guns. What are the implications with regards to this senario.

    Your help on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

  • Hi

    My father inherited an Iver Johnson 12 gauge single barrel shotgun from his mother but it is unlicensed since 2001. Is it possible to have it relicensed?

  • Llani

    I have a buyer for my deceased father’s gun, can I just sell it or is there a procedure i.e. forms, do I need the buyers name and details?

  • BC

    Good day.

    My grandfather recently passed away. He passed over a brand new hunting rifle. Never been fired and never licensed. I wish to license it under my name but with it not ever having been licensed I am scared I wont be able to license it in my name?

    Or can this be done and if so how…? please email me.

  • Doug

    Hi. I have a firearm that I want to dispose of. I would like to go and hand it in. I missed the renewal periods as I was out of the country. I still have the licence in my ID book. Is it safe for me to go and hand it in at the police station?

  • JS

    Hi, I have inherited a 38special revolver from my grandfather that passed away. Is it possible to get a license for the fire arm? and what documentation is required?

  • John Roberts

    1) I’m a professional hunter in Zimbabwe
    2) My 25 year old Nephew is South African by Birth & Descent, lives in KZN.
    3) He would like to be a Professional Hunter (Apprentice) or try it out.
    4) Long term looking at him establishing Hunting/Safari Business extending to Zimbabwe
    5) How can he qualify for a Gun License (from the little i picked as a first timer on your website) he needs a RIFLE Licence?
    6) Does he need competency Training ?
    7) In SA can he store his gun with a trusted gun club etc, or it has to be at his house etc.
    8) To then establish a gun shop (hunting), will he need another license, especially if his going to be importing from Europe/USA & Exporting to SADC Region – Africa ?

    Please help, & pass on any information of people who can help, especially in training Durban, KZN REGION.

    Thanx John Roberts

  • mike

    Hi there, my mother inherited a .22 rifle from her father when he passed away. She has never had a licence. I am in the process of applying for competancy on a rifle and handgun, will i be able to take it over legally?

  • iain

    what does on need to hand in old unlicenced firearms? can you just go drop them off no questions asked?

    • admin

      NO! That was only allowed during the amnesty periods. If you go to the SAP with an unlicensed firearm you might get arrested! You can call me about this if you want to, my number is at the bottom of this web page

  • matthew


    I recently inherited 2 fire arms from my father in law who passed away. He had licenses for them but they were the old ones. I dont think he got them renewed. Is it still possible for me to obtain a license? What documentation do i need from his estate to confirm that i did actually inherit the fire arms?


  • Ignatius

    Hello – I want to keep my gun (was a gift to my mother from my grandad) – I went through the competency (2005) and SAP application just to find out my license was declined after many many months. I even had 2 police officers in my house telling me what to write as my motivation. I have never appealed and forgot about the application.
    I want to dispose of very old bullets – the gun shop did not want to take it. They said I must hand it in at the police station. What is my options.
    I will have to redo my competency and possibly appeal – although I think a new application will be easier !!!!

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