As this issue goes to press, the confusion and rancor over delays does appear to be easing somewhat, and not just because the police have become more adept at handling the new 11-page SAP 520 Form that is now required to import a firearm, but also because more and more hunters are beginning to use local gun-clearing services. Unfortunately, as this issue went to press, one of the more widely used services - Securicor Gray - had been put on hold because it was determined that the company needed a license to be offering a gun-handling service. We will update you on the Securicor Gray service next month. In the meantime, Hunters Support, a subsidiary of the charter company, Air 2000, has begun to work through a passenger handling service called Passenger Support Services to help general hunting clients who don't want to deal with the confusion and ambiguity that has been created by the new South African gun regulations. Also, we have just learned that Afton Guest House is working through a company called Optima to provide arriving hunters assistance with their guns as part of its meet-and-greet service.
To be sure, you do not absolutely have to contact anyone for help with your gun. All that's required of you is that you fill out the new SAPS 520 Form and present either your gun license or (if you are an American) your US Customs Form 4457. It is a good idea to also have paperwork indicating you have a safari booked in your destination country. Do not show up with ammunition for a firearm other than........(continued)