Regulations around hunting, shooting activities et al during Lockdown Level 4

Credit: NatShoot South Africa

As the uncertainty spread amongst members regarding the new regulations of level 4 lockdown, we’ve set-up questions and answers below as we interpret the new regulations published in the Government Gazette.


NO, we cannot hunt for recreational purposes
YES, if you need to do culling/damage-causing animals or wildlife management

You may only hunt if:

It is in the same province (1-day hunt) – NO overnight accommodation
Wear a mask and practice social distancing
Follow the curfew and be home by 20:00 (curfew 20:00 – 05:00)
Please make sure you have the correct traveling documents/permits etc.
Remember, only 2 people per *vehicle* allowed
We are awaiting approved regulations for hunting under Level 4 from the relevant government department and will let members know when we receive the same.

NO, it doesn’t seem like shooting ranges are classified as an essential service to the public in Level 4 Lockdown, despite South African Arms and Ammunition Dealers Association (SAAADA) submission to the Ministry for exemption in Level 4
See extraction from government gazette on regulations:
“Places and premises closed to the public

(1) Any place or premises normally open to the public where religious, cultural, sporting, entertainment. recreational, exhibitional, organisational or similar activities may take place. is closed.”
NO, not according to legal advice and information received from DFO’s
Part O of the regulations state that:
“Only essential government and administration services may operate…” – It is our opinion that firearm licensing is not seen as an essential administration”

On 1 May 2020 Natshoot sent a letter to the Commissioner of Police asking for clarification on the travel to police stations during level 4 lockdown to:
Submit applications for renewal of firearm licenses
To take part in the Firearm Amnesty
Once we’ve received an answer, we will inform our members of the outcome
*IMPORTANT* Remember if you need to renew your firearm license during level 4 lockdown, send an email to the National Commissioner of Police asking for an extension of your firearm license renewal – see our newsletter –
It is our (Natshoot) opinion that they will probably extend the Amnesty as discussed with our legal representatives.
On 1 April 2020 Natshoot wrote to the Minister of Police, enquiring as to the possible extension of the period of amnesty due to time lost during the lockdown.

On 22 April 2020 the Minister answered that he is favorably inclined to extend the period of amnesty, but that he has to wait for Parliament to reconvene (to meet again after a break) as only Parliament can give permission for such an extension.
Once we’ve received more information, we will inform our members.
See our newsletter here-
The requirements to maintain your dedicated status by:
Paying your yearly membership fee and
Submitting 2 activities (per status) before the end of November 2020 will remain in place.
If the shooting ranges open before the end of July 2020, there will still be a 4-month period in which members can do and submit their 2 activities to maintain their dedicated status
Natshoot EXCO will re-evaluate the maintenance of dedicated status if the shooting ranges are not open by the end of July 2020
Members with dedicated status will not be in jeopardy if the lockdown continues until November 2020
See Newsletter Vol.16(15) in this regard –


You can upload reloading of hunting ammunition as an activity
If you reload ammunition on 2 different days, and your activity was approved – you will be compliant for dedicated hunter statusIf there is an organized, legitimate online reloading course, hosted by a trainer, (where you can join face-to-face via a platform like Zoom/Skype) – it will count as an activity
More info here –


You can upload reloading of sport shooting ammunition as an activity
If you reload ammunition on 2 different days and your activity was approved – you will be compliant for dedicated sport status
If there is an organized, legitimate online reloading course, hosted by a trainer, (where you can join face-to-face via a platform like Zoom/Skype) – it will count as an activity
Other firearm-related online courses, hosted by a trainer, using a platform like Zoom/Skype will also count as an activity (please first send more information to the Natshoot office to confirm if the relevant course will be sufficient for the maintenance of your dedicated status)
More info here –

See Newsletter Vol.16(15) in this regard –

COVID19 – We are OPEN (4 May 2020)

“Tough times, don’t last. Tough people do!” – Unknown

Rewind to 6 weeks ago and we at Specialised Arms & Ammunition Trading Company would have most likely laughed off the possibility of a nationwide lockdown, but the reality of this global pandemic hit home hard.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families whom have lost a loved one to COVID19 and we would like to extend a hearty support to those who are making a speedy recovery.

South African’s are a resilient bunch and more often than not, it is in times of hardships that we put aside all differences to fight together. This will be no exception.

In the fight against COVID19, SWATCO will be re-opening its doors to the people of South Africa that require emergency assistance. We will be legally compliant with the law in all regards with our re-opening on Monday, 4 May 2020.

We will be servicing the following sectors:

  • Anti-poaching initiatives
  • Private Security Sector
  • SAPS
  • Metro Police Service
  • Bonafide Hunters
  • Patrons requiring strict emergency repairs

Please Note:

  • Trading hours will be from Monday to Friday, from 09h00 to 15h00.
  • All patrons and customers MUST wear a mask prior to entry. Should you not have a mask one will be provided to you at a cost.
  • All patrons must sanitise hands prior to entry.
  • We will measure and record temperatures. Should a patron have a temperature higher than 38 degrees, we will not permit entry. We encourage these patrons to consult their GP or call the COVID19 support line.

Warm and safe regards,

J. Glajchen and D. Sheer


Japanese firearm manufacturing giant Howa Machinery Limited released their first commercially available rifle at the 1967 Chicago SHOT Show.The Golden Bear model became extremely popular and soon dispelled any doubts about the quality of firearms manufactured in the East.

Fast forward a few decades, one realises their Model 1500 has become one of the great successs stories in rifle manufacturing history. Available in three different barrel profiles; Lightweight, Standard and Heavy configurations, as well as in a host of calibres. These include the .22-250 Rem, while the .300 Win Mag caters for the fans of this iconic calibre.
Further to this the 6.5mm Creedmoor, and in latter years the 6mm Creedmoor Howa rifles are well received by the long-range shooting fraternity.

The cold hammer-forged barrel, coupled to their HACT two-position controlled trigger provide an inexpensive option with uncanny “out-of-the-box” accuracy.

They are fitted with a Hogue pillar-bedded synthetic stock and recoil pad, making for a lightweight and low-maintenance finish.
The APC chassis, which is available with a box magazine option allows the shooter to enter the realm of long-range shooting at very little financial outlay.

With the insane exchange rates that the South African firearm industry is faced with, this makes the Howa the best value rifle on the market

Image Credit:


As the lockdown has been extended for a further two weeks I thought of some additional projects that will further cement domestic bliss as well as endear you to your neighbours.

Firstly, as promised last posting I want to share some reloading data using houshold cleaning chemicals.
Being fresh out of scouring powder I had to develop a new .300 Win Mag load by substituting instant oats, just remember to alter the ratio as it plays havoc in the kitchen.

Rumour has it that another WONDERFUL way to whittle away time is to lovingly dubbin any leather item found in your home.Apparently if you apply yourself diligently to the task you can spend the better part of the day on a single shoe.
Another absolutely fun-filled event is to totally dismantle your microwave oven, from the pile of spares you can now knock-up an electric blender as well as a toy suitable for children under the age of three.

Try watching your favourite movie with Finnish sub-titles….and if that’s not cerebrally challenging you can always go out and mow the wet grass with an electric mower.

’til next time.
Stay safe and healthy.


“Definition:”Shack nasties”-irrational behaviour coupled to prolonged periods of indoor confinement”.

By now most law-abiding South Africans have become misanthropic recluses….rarely leaving home, with forays to your supermarket taking on the danger of an expedition to the North Pole.

You have cleaned your collection of firearms umpteen times, conjured up yet ANOTHER dessert recipe using corn flakes, and started questioning your sanity when you offer to help with the ironing.

Reloading is certainly an option providing you have already worked up a “tried-and-tested” load. No luxury of load-development here buddy!

Try and make your neighbours understand as to why your back garden is now a testing site for your .50BMG!

Just prior to the lockdown I invested in a rotary power tool, not the authentic product, the one beginning with the letter “D”,but a REALLY cheap knock-up for less than a tenth of the price.

The big day arrives and I’m all ready to use my rotary power tool, rig up with the correct bit in it and I’m good to go.

Within a few seconds smoke is lavishly pouring out of my precious power tool.Which brings me to the advise about cheap power tools….don’t buy them.Reading is an option to whittle away the hours.I had just started Bill Bryson’s latest book “The Body-a guide for occupants” prior to the lockdown.

Definitely not the best choice of light-hearted reading.I realised soon enough that I needed to change books to a Tintin or Lucky Luke if I wanted to preserve the little sanity I still had a grasp on.

Next week we’ll look at ways of recycling furniture to make a log cabin and we’ll share with you some reloading data using household cleaning powders.

Stay safe and healthy!


Credit: NHSA

Dear Member,

The urgent court interdict in the Pretoria High Court to set the firearms amnesty aside, has this morning been settled with the Minister of Police and with the National Commissioner of Police (see our Newsletter in tis regard – ).

The agreement was made an order of court.

The application was settled as the NHSA’s urgent court application resulted in the Police changing their policy in respect of the requirement that an applicant for a new firearm license must be in possession of a valid competency certificate at the time when a new license application is submitted.

The new SAPS directive, which was issued due to the NHSA urgent application, provides that an application for the renewal of, or for a new competency certificate, can be submitted simultaneously with an application for a new firearm license under the amnesty.  Thus, changing the negatives attached to the amnesty’s stipulation that an application for a new licence has to be submitted 14 days after the specific firearm has been surrendered to SAPS (which requires a valid competency to be attached).

This change in policy has created the possibility that a person with an  expired licence and expired competency certificate can effectively take part in the amnesty in order to legitimize the possession of such a firearm (thus countering the 14 days stipulation of the amnesty).

A new licence application can thus now be submitted together with an application for a renewal of the competency within 14 days after the firearm has been handed in with SAPS.

NHSA was unfortunately not successful in getting SAPS to agree that such applicants could remain in possession of their firearms until the application had been finalised (the FCA states that firearms have to be handed in with SAPS under an amnesty).

In view of the fact that the amnesty can now be used to obtain a new licence for a firearm with an expired licence without a valid competency, caused the urgency of the court application to set the amnesty aside, has fallen away.  NHSA has consequently been advised by legal council to settle the dispute and rather try to create a relationship of respect between SAPS and accredited associations.

The court order is thus, that NHSA withdraws its application and that each party pays its own cost. The effect is that the amnesty will continue but with more appropriate conditions for application for new licences for expired licences.

A comprehensive Newsletter containing all facts will by posted shortly.  Members will be notified when the Newsletter is posted.

Dr Herman Els
Executive Chair

The Fireside Chat – December 2019

“May you never be too old to search the skies on Christmas Eve” – Anonymous

On reflection 2019 has been somewhat like looking at a maritime tide-table. It’s
had lows, highs and everything in between. The “Prince of Darkness’ has visited
the store a number of times over the last twelve months, let me tell you that it’s
rather entertaining trying to sell pistols bathed in the soft light of a candle.

Interesting developments in the industry have been the new models launched by
Austrian stalwart Glock. Their new single-stack 9mm para range has been well
received, and customers are really enthralled with the 43X; either in the “bling”
version with the matte silver slide, or in the standard Glock livery.

Smith & Wesson, another giant in firearm manufacturing can now also be viewed
at the store; their AR platforms in .22 as well as .223 causing the same interest as
their pistol range. The S&W Bodyguard with the Crimson Trace laser ranking right
up there with the ultimate in conceal-ability.

On the reloading scene the importation of both top-end European as well as
American propellant has pushed the boundary of accuracy in reloading to a new

In wrapping up, SWATCO want to thank all their customers and friends for the
incredible support shown throughout the year.

Wishing everyone a health-infused Festive Season as well as a terrific 2020.



Original Source: NAT SHOOT

Quote –
The date for the NHSA’s urgent court application to set aside the current firearms amnesty has been set for 14 January 2020.  The Festive season has unfortunately gotten in the way of an earlier date to hear the case.

As always SAPS have used December, the traditionally “dead” month of the year, to make important announcements on matters regarding the FCA and its Regulations. 

Members can read the 11-12-2019 filed NHSA court papers in our Newsletter Vol. 15(35) on the Natshoot website.

NHSA will always support a firearms amnesty if it is focussed on taking illegal firearms out of the hands of violent criminals. However, the reasons for NHSA opposing the implementation of the current amnesty is clearly stated in the last 8 Newsletters on the Natshoot website. 

In follow up of our Email of 14-12-2019 on the responses to our request for urgent assistance, we have received an additional 837 Emails with answers, which will be incorporated into the already reported statistics (that makes an overwhelming 6,279 responses from our members – thank you!).  We shall incorporate those answers into the current statistics.

We shall keep you posted on matters regarding the amnesty as it develops.

Please enjoy a safe Festive season; may the very best of your 2019 be the very worst of your 2020!



Credit/s: National Hunting and Shooting Association

1.     We advise that you first be a little patient before your rush off to take “advantage” of the announced firearms amnesty.

2.     The exact processes to be implemented by SAPS are not yet known. We also still have no knowledge of the questions which will be asked on the forms to be used in the amnesty (could be a potential minefield for the unsuspecting).

3.     We shall let members know the moment we have the forms and can give more responsible advice to those members who decide to “make use” of the amnesty.


4.1    The current firearms amnesty was on 21-11-2019 voted by Parliament to run for the six months between 1 December 2019 and 31 May 2020.

4.2    The amnesty provides for people to hand in what is termed to be illegal firearms (i.e. firearms of which licences have expired due to not having been renewed in time) without the possibility of being prosecuted for being in possession of such a firearm (section 138 of FCA).

4.3    People with firearms with expired licences can hand in such firearms at their police station and indicated that they want to apply for a new licence for that firearm under the amnesty (application has to be submitted within 14 days after the firearm was handed in). If one does not clearly indicate that one will apply for a new licence for the handed in firearm, SAPS will take that firearm to be destroyed.

Take Note that there are 46 police stations which MAY NOT receive any firearms during the amnesty.   You can download that list here

4.4    An application for a new licence for a firearm handed in under the amnesty may, according to the Minister of Police, only be submitted by the owner of the firearm; provided that the applicant can show that it was previously legally owned (one’s expired licence is that proof).  We are not certain the Minister was correct in this aspect – we shall advise members per Email when we have a clear answer.

4.5    In the last paragraph of the notice of the amnesty, the Minister orders SAPS to ballistically test all firearms handed in under the amnesty to determine if that firearm had been used in any crime. Any application for a new licence for a firearm handed in under the amnesty will thus probably be subject to the firearm first being ballistically tested before a new licence application will be finalised.

4.6    It is clear that the Minister of Police did not consider the request included in the Parliamentary Committee on Police’s (PCoP) report of 30 October 2018 to Parliament in support of the amnesty.  In that report the PCoP requests that a separate process for the renewal of expired licences be run concurrently to the current amnesty. 

4.7    But then the Minister could not have even seen that request, contrary to the promises made by the Deputy Minister to the PCoP on 23-10-2019 that the request would be considered. Because by that time the Minister had already two months before, on 28-08-2019, signed the notice of the amnesty (three months before it was debated in Parliament on 21-11-2019).  That notice signed on 28-08-2019 was eventually published in the Government Gazette of 27-11-2019.  Who asked about a flawed legal process ?  Remember SAPS first put their request to implement the current amnesty before the PCoP in March 2017.


5.1    There is no right way or wrong way to act here. There is only a possible better way to manage your own situation. 

5.2    What is, however, very clear is that you will in the very near future, have to decide on what YOU want to do if you hold a firearm with an expired licence.

5.3    Obviously, you can decide to do absolutely nothing and wait for things to change to the better so that you can again in one or other way legally licence your firearm with the expired licence. We would strongly advise against taking such a position.  Reality is not on your side.  

5.4    This “fight” can never be just about approximately 500,000 expired firearm licences, despite all firearms stakeholders being prepared to, and will, “fight this fight” in a responsible manner.   An irresponsible and concerted public disobedience campaign in this regard, will only end up in government withdrawing all licences for more than 2 million firearms to the detriment of 1,5 million other legal firearm owners in this country.  As firearm owners we are responsible for each other.

5.4.1  Never forget that Judge Froneman on 07-07-2018 in the Constitutional Court clearly stated that owning a firearm in this country is a privilege – see our Newsletter Vol. 14(17) on the Constitutional Court’s judgment on the constitutionally of sections 24 & 28 of the FCA

5.5    We therefore, suggest that the first decision you will have to take on, when and how to act, very much depends on the outcome of the SAPS Appeal against the 27-07-2018 interim court order in the so-called urgent GOSA application – see our Newsletter Vol. 15(09) on the interim order in the GOSA case.

5.6    The interim court order states that SAPS may not confiscate firearms with expired licences until the GOSA main case has been heard and outcome thereof has been determined – see our Newsletter Vol. 14(25) on the urgent court case brought by GOSA in 2018.

5.7    The outcome of the SAPS Appeal will decide whether you will have to hand in your firearm with expired licence for destruction, or whether you will still remain “protected’ by that interim order to remain in possession thereof until the GOSA main court case has been heard (no certain date yet).

5.8    We cannot pretend to know which way the court’s decision will go in the SAPS Appeal against the interim order in the GOSA case, nor in the so-called GOSA main court case.

5.9    Best outcomes of both court cases are that the process of renewal of firearm licences will be favourably different (best if licences will not have to be renewed at all).

5.10  Worst outcomes of both court cases are that you will have to hand in your firearm with the expired licence for destruction without any option of trying to get that firearm into the legal system again (specifically if the GOSA main court case is decided after the current amnesty has run its course).

5.11  Despite the interim court order stating that the police cannot come and confiscate a firearm with an expired licence, the legal reality is that one can only keep such firearm in your safe. One cannot use the firearm, neither sell the firearm, or hand it in with a dealer, as its licence has expired.   You will thus have to wait the outcome of both court cases before deciding what to do with your firearm with expired licence.

5.12  We suggest that the second decision you will have to take on, when and how to act, very much depends on how you view your options under the current amnesty. That is if you would want to try and get your firearm of which the licence has expired, legally licenced in your name.

5.13  We know that there were many reasons why people had not renewed their licences timeously.  SAPS are, however, not interested in those reasons.  You can accept that they will not open a new procedure for late renewals of firearms of which licences have expired.

5.14  If the GOSA cases are not decided favourably for firearms owners, SAPS only offers you one opportunity to apply for a new licence for the firearm you have with an expired licence. That is under the current amnesty.  The amnesty, however, has its own pitfalls.  We suggest you do not take any hasty decision here, right now, which you might regret later.

5.15  All law-abiding citizens are loath to hand in firearms with SAPS. None of us are convinced of SAPS’ ability to safeguard such firearms, despite the Minister of Police on 28-11-2019 declaring SAPS to be 100% geared to present a secure amnesty.  In response we have to ask the Minister of which other country he knows where private security companies guard over police stations, and where 46 police stations are excluded from receiving firearms during a firearms amnesty ?

5.16  Neither are we as law-abiding citizens convinced that SAPS can responsibly handle the number of firearms they might have to work with, if only half of the owners of the approximately 500,000 firearms with expired white licences would make use of the amnesty.

5.17  Be that as it may, there are currently no other mechanism, other than an amnesty, provided for in the FCA to get a firearm of which the licence has expired, back into the legal system. That is unless the FCA is amended favourably in this regard in the very near future, which we all know is highly unlikely to happen. 

5.18  The amnesty does thus offer you limited options to consider if you are stuck with a firearm of which the white licence has expired. 

5.19  From where we sit you have only two options to decide if you would possibly want to take advantage of what you are presented with under the current amnesty:

5.19.1  You can hand in the firearm of which the licence has expired, to be destroyed (but that you can do any day of the week if you would so decide).

5.19.2  You can opt to make use of the amnesty and hand in your firearm at your police station and indicate that you want to apply for a new licence within 14 days after having handed in the firearm under the amnesty.

5.20  These are the options you will have to take a decision on if you have a firearm with an expired white licence, as we see it.


6.1    This is probably the only real good part of the amnesty.

6.2    The amnesty allows for people who are in possession of estate firearms, which are not licenced in the name of the present possessor, to licence such firearms in his/her name.

6.3    If you would want to apply for a new licence for an estate firearm within 14 days after handing it in under the amnesty, you must at the least get a print out from your DFO to confirm that the firearm was previously legally possessed (ascertain your competency for that type of firearm is valid when you apply).


7.1   SAPS have since February 2016 taken the position that once you have “migrated” to the FCA (white licence),  your green licence has lost its validity.  This is their administrative position despite the interim order of Judge Prinsloo in the 2009 SA Hunters court case still being legally valid as the main case has never been heard. 

7.2   Although we at NHSA hold a different legal opinion than that of SAPS on this matter, please accept that SAPS will act according to their interpretation of green licences not being “evergreen” –  see our Newsletter Vol. 14(14) on the validity of green licences: judgment in 2009 SAHGCA court case.


8.1   Make sure that the competency for the specific firearm type you want to apply for is valid.

8.2   If it is not valid, apply for renewal of the relevant competency as quick as you can (right now), so that you can receive the renewed competency to submit with your application for the licence under the amnesty before the six months has gone by.

8.3   NHSA will petition the National Commissioner of Police to afford people who would want to submit applications for new licences under the amnesty the opportunity to at the same submit renewal of competency apllications.  We can promise nothing, however.

8.4   Make sure that you have all documentation you will need for a new licence application before you surrender the firearm under the amnesty – see NHSA suggestions for a new licence applications.

In closing, we reiterate what was stated in paragraphs 1, 2 & 3 above.

Please be vigilant at all times !

Kind regards

Dr Herman Els  (Executive Chair)


The Fireside Chat – October Edition

“Do I feel lucky? Well do you, punk?”- Clint Eastwood in “Dirty Harry”-1971

Clint Eastwood was immortalised for the famous quote from the film, what was equally noteworthy was that his firearm was a Smith & Wesson revolver. Smith & Wesson’s humble roots go back to 1852 when Horace Smith and Daniel. B Wesson of Springfield, Massachusetts entered the realm of firearm manufacturing with their Volcanic Rifle. 

The American Civil War saw their Model 1 revolver used by both Confederate as well as Union soldiers. Their latter Model 3 was adopted by the U.S Army as the first cartridge-firing revolver in U.S service. Introduced in 1899, their evergreen Model 10 revolver became the most popular choice for American police officers. Used by them for most of the last century, and also known as the “Victory’ model, over six million units were manufactured. A further one million were used by America during the Second World War.

In 1935 their Model 27 was the first revolver chambered for the .357 Magnum, still a timeless classic. They also were the first company to chamber a revolver for the .44 Remington Magnum. The Model 29 was announced to the American public on 19 January 1956. Elmer Keith, famous American outdoor and J. Hatelier, Technical Editor of “American Rifleman” were presented with some of the first production models.

In more recent years S&W  produced two more even more powerful handgun calibres; the .460 S&W
was a lengthened and more powerful version of the .454 Casull, and  in February 2002, the .500 S&W, a collaboration between them and Cor-Bon was released. This has the honour of earning the title of  “The most powerful production handgun cartridge”. Smith & Wesson has over the decades contributed a vast array of calibres; namely the .22 Short,.32 S&W Long, .38 S&W, .38 S&W Special  as well as the .40 S&W.
Click Here to view our range alternatively, pop into the store to see the latest firearms from Smith & Wesson.