Sep 2, 2022 | News

Applying for or renewing a competency certificate or a firearm license in South Africa can be a lengthy and often frustrating process – especially given the delays caused by the internal decision-making processes of the Central Firearms Registry (CFR). While the CFR indicates that decisions should be made within 90 days, more often than not applicants are left waiting much longer for approval (or refusal).

As frustrating as it may be, most South Africans are unaware that they needn’t wait around until the CFR eventually makes a decision on their matter. With our help, they can approach the High Court to force the CFR to make a speedier decision.


Most applicants feel their hands are tied while their applications are under review as the internal appeal procedures are only available if a decision has actually been made. However, a failure by the CFR to take a decision within a reasonable period of time, may constitute a deemed refusal. And while a deemed refusal cannot be internally appealed, it can be reviewed and set aside by the High Court, if there is sufficient cause. By launching an application in the High Court, we can request:

  • an order that the CFR must make a decision regarding the application, within a specified amount of time; or
  • an order that the license be approved and issued.


In our experience, the CFR usually springs into action, or at least attempts to do so, once an application has been brought. While an order of the Hight Court may ultimately compel them to consider (or approve) the application, in some cases the CFR may even expedite their consideration of application(s) without such an order.

It is important to note that a High Court application does not guarantee the approval of an application – it may however expedite the decision-making process. Where applications are refused, applicants can still internally appeal such a decision.


Any form of litigation will incur legal costs, but because we understand the frustration felt by firearm owners as a result of these delays, we launch these applications in a cost-effective manner to ensure that our clients’ interests are protected without costing them an arm and a leg.

If you have not received a response (approval or refusal) on your competency certificate or firearm license or amnesty application within 90 days, please contact Mr. Hannes Hyman on (012) 435 9563 or for more information on the procedure and costs