How to write a motivation letter for occasional hunting

Writing a motivation letter for a firearm license is incredibly important. You want the letter to be short enough that it is easy to read and understand, but at the same time, it must include detailed reasons why the registrar should approve the firearm license.

To write a motivation letter for occassional hunting, you will need to include the following sections in the letter:

  1. Write an introduction
  2. Describe the type of application
  3. Prove that you need the firearm for a specific purpose
  4. Tell the registrar about your credentials, experience, and training
  5. Give the registrar information about your proficiency training
  6. Give details about how and where you are going to safely store the firearm
  7. Give the details of the firearm to be licensed
  8. Conclude the motivation letter with a declaration

Put yourself in the shoes of the person handling your application. What kind of questions are they going to be asking themselves. Make sure you that you provide these answers in your motivation, this will help them make a decision quicker and lower the chances of them declining your application due to “failing to convince the registrar”.

Remember, that they handle thousands of applications at a time, and they will not have the time to phone you and ask you to send missing information. So make sure you cover everything.

With that said, let’s jump right into it.

1. Write an Introduction

This is your chance to make the best of your first impression. It is also your opportunity to let the registrar know that the letter is going to be easy to read and that you have done your homework and is going to be an easy one. It includes basic information such as your personal info, contact details, and the type of application.

Write your name, type of application, ID number in capital letters so that the registrar can quickly see what the document is about and where it belongs. This will help prevent your motivation from getting lost.

Let’s look at an example of a letter I wrote for a firearm license for a Howa 1500 hunting rifle chambered in .308 Winchester.

I started the letter with a short introduction, telling the reader who I am, where I am from, where I work, and how they can get a hold of me.


To The Senior Officer
Central Firearms Register
South African Police Service


Dear Sir/Madam

SUBJECT: Motivation for the licensing of a firearm in terms of Section 15 of the Firearms Control Act. (Act no. 60 of 2000)

I am Mr. [FULL NAME] number: [ID NUMBER], [AGE] years of age at the time of this application. Please find my ID attached.

I am a South African citizen and reside at the Street Address:

I am reachable by phone at [CELL PHONE NUMBER] or email [EMAIL ADDRESS]

I am employed with, [EMPLOYER NAME], doing full time [JOB DESCRIPTION] and my work address is [WORK ADDRESS].


  • Did you write “FIREARM MOTIVATION” at the top?
  • Did you write your full name and ID number in capital letters at the top?
  • Did you address the letter correctly as per the example?
  • Did you include a subject stating what this letter is?
  • Did you type your full name, ID number, age, address, contact number, email address, employer details, and work address?
  • Did you print, certify, and attached a copy of your ID?

2. Describe the type of Application

You then immediately jump into the first sub-heading, “TYPE OF APPLICATION” where you explain what the purpose of this letter is. In this case, it is a “Manually operated rifle for occasional hunting.” Explain that you are applying for a license in terms of the relevant section of the Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000, in this case, we are applying for the firearm in terms of Section 15.

What you are doing is removing all the thinking work for the registrar, they can instantly see that the firearm you are applying for complies with the relevant section in the Firearms Control Act.


This application to possess a firearm for Occasional Hunting is motivated in terms of Section 15 of the Firearms Control Act. (Act 60 of 2000).

The firearm is a Manually Operated Rifle in line with Section 15 of the Firearms Control Act. According to Section 15(1) of the Firearms Control Act, the Registrar may issue a license in terms of Section 15 for occasional hunting and sport shooting.


  • Did you write a bold heading and sub-heading?
  • Did you describe the section under which the firearm is being licensed?
  • Did you describe the action of the firearm and that it is in line with the section under which the firearm is being licensed?
  • Is this section well written and easy to read?

3. Prove that you need the firearm for a specific purpose

The purpose of this section is to establish a need for the specific firearm.

There are two main questions that you will want to cover in this section.

  1. Are any of your existing firearms already appropriate for the purpose of this application?
  2. Why can’t you use someone else’s firearm for the purpose of the application? (Hunting lodges often provide rifles for hunts)

If you have an existing firearm in the same caliber, you are going to have to explain to the registrar why you cannot use that existing rifle for the purpose of this application. For example, you might already have a .308 bolt action rifle, however, it might be very heavy because it is designed for precision rifle sport shooting. Maybe your existing rifle does not have a threaded barrel and you are required to hunt with a suppressor in your area and the fact that it does not have the ability to mount a rifle scope.

Or in the case of my application, I already had a semi-automatic rifle in the same caliber, so I explained that a person is not allowed to hunt with a semi-automatic rifle in South Africa, and also pointed out the fact the rifle is not accurate enough to hunt with.

You can also explain that you sometimes hunt alone on private farms where the owners do not have a firearm to hunt with, so you will have to own your own rifle.

Where possible, use evidence to back up what you are saying.

DO NOT: Mention that the firearm can also be used for self-defense, or any other reason other than the purpose for which the firearm is being licensed for (Section 15: Occasional Hunting)


Hunting Policies and Regulations in South Africa do not allow for the use of a self-loading rifle for hunting.
I am a dedicated sports shooter and my sports shooting rifle is a self-loading .308. This type of rifle is not allowed to be used for hunting purposes because hunting farms do not allow the use of self-loading rifles. It is also important to note that my existing self-loading rifle is licensed as a Section 16 dedicated sport shooting rifle and it is for this reason that my existing self-loading 308 Rifle is reserved strictly for sport shooting only.

As stated in the Environmental Management Act 7 of 2003, please see below:
Prohibited acts relating to ways of hunting or catching wild or alien animals
(1) No person may without a permit –
(a) hunt specially protected wild animals, protected wild animals,
game or non-indigenous wild animals with –
(i) a fire-arm which after it has been discharged,
automatically reloads and fires when the trigger is pulled or
held in a discharged position

This use of semi-auto rifles for hunting is further prohibited in Act 9 of 2009, as below:
Prohibited hunting methods or instruments:
(1) (l) by means of a firearm which discharges more than 2 shots
without being manually reloaded.

So it is known for this reason that a manually operated bolt action rifle with an internal magazine is ideal for hunting purposes and it is this type of rifle that I would like to license for occasional hunting.

My existing self-loading rifle in .308 lacks the accuracy required for hunting
My existing dedicated sport self-loading rifle`s accuracy is inadequate for the ranges I intend on hunting from, which is up to 180m and may be even further.

I would like to maintain tight and consistent grouping of shots that can easily be obtained with the 20-inch barrel and the bolt action which has very tight tolerances when it is made. There are also no moving parts while the rifle is fired which even further increases the accuracy over a semi-auto.

My existing semi-auto .308 is manufactured too much looser tolerances to allow for self-loading which adversely affects the accuracy. The moving parts during firing also have a bad effect on the accuracy of the rifle.

My existing self-loading rifle shoots a group of about 3 inches at 100m, whereas the HOWA 1500 .308 for which I am applying for a license, is known to shoot groups of 1 inch at 100m making this rifle 3 times more accurate than my existing self-loading rifle. My self-loading rifle also only has an 18-inch thin barrel, which is much shorter and thinner than the 20-inch thick barrel on the HOWA 1500 .308.

It is for these reasons that I hereby request that you approve my application for a license for this HOWA 1500 .308, manually operated bolt action rifle.


  • Did you write a bold heading?
  • Did you describe your existing collection of firearms?
  • Did you explain why each of those firearms is not appropriate for the purpose of this activity (hunting)?
  • Did you explain why the new firearm is appropriate for the purpose of this activity (hunting)?
  • Did you explain why it is not possible to use someone else’s rifle for the purpose of this activity (hunting)?
  • Is this section well written and easy to read?

4. Tell the registrar about your credentials, experience, and training

In this section, you are trying to convince the registrar that you are a responsible person, with a history of responsible firearm handling under your belt. For this reason, you will want to mention any previous firearm training you have completed, such as police or national service.

This is also a good opportunity to show the registrar that you have a legitimate background with the activity that you are motivating for, in my case, hunting. Briefly talk about your past experience with hunting, and also about your future intentions, like trips or regular hunting at your family farm.

If possible, attach photos of your previous hunting trips.


My History with Firearms and Hunting
As a young boy, I was introduced to firearms by my father. I was always shown how to safely store a firearm and use it in a safe manner. I have always been very careful with firearms and have had a respect for them. This has continued to be true throughout my entire childhood and as an adult.

My grandfather was also an avid hunter in Zimbabwe and we often would go on hunts on his farm in Zimbabwe for Kudu, Springbuck, Warthog, and Impala. We would use his rifles of which he had a variety of. The two rifles I used was 300 H&H as well as a Bruno .223 Rifle

My Grandfather has since passed away and I have not had the opportunity to hunt again. This is one of the reasons I would like to obtain a license for my own hunting rifle.

Future Hunting Intentions
I intend on going on many hunting trips in the future and look forward to this new and exciting outdoor activity. My Mother and Step-Father have a farm in Kxxxxxxxof, KZN where I have been invited to hunt impala and bushpig. I have not yet been able to hunt there as I do not own the appropriate firearm yet. The farm is 20 hectares of bushveld and there is plenty of bush pig there to the point that they are becoming a nuisance. This will be my main place for occasional hunting I have been invited to shoot on this farm by my stepfather Txxxxxxr Gxxxxxxxn, and my mother Lxxxxxxe Gxxxxxxn.
Please see their “invitation to hunt” letter attached.


  • Did you write a bold heading?
  • If possible, did you describe your history of shooting and hunting?
  • Did you describe in more detail where, when, and what you hunted?
  • Did you say who you hunted with growing up?
  • Did you explain when, where, and what you intend on hunting in the future?
  • Did you attach proof of future hunting plans? (Invitations to hunt, hunting trip itinerary, etc)?
  • Is this section well written and easy to read?

5. Give the registrar information about your proficiency training

In this section, you want to show that you have completed the prescribed training and explain that you have applied for the relevant competency certificates, and they have been approved. It will be beneficial to add the date that you applied for the competency certificate and the date that it was approved, along with your competency certificate number.


Statutory Requirement

I have successfully completed the proficiency training in the SASSETA Unit Standards for:
 Knowledge of the Firearms Control Act. (Act no. 60 of 2000) Unit Standard 117705
 Handle and use a Handgun Unit Standard 119649.
 Handle and use a manually operated Rifle Unit Standard 119651
 Handle and use a Shotgun Unit Standard 119652
 Handle and use a Self-Loading Rifle & Carbine Unit Standard 119650

These proficiency certificates were issued by the following accredited firearm training provider:

Knowledge of the Firearms Control Act. (Act no. 60 of 2000) Unit Standard 117705
Certificate no: [CERTIFICATE NUMBER]
Course no: [COURSE NUMBER]
Address: [ADDRESS]

Handle and use a Manually Operated Rifle Unit Standard 119651
Certificate no: [CERTIFICATE NUMBER]
Course no: [COURSE NUMBER]
Address: [ADDRESS]

Please find my relevant certificates and statement of results attached.

Competency Certificate
After completing the above courses, I applied for my competency certificate to handle and use a manually operated rifle at [NAME OF POLICE STATION WHERE APPLIED] and it was approved on [DATE OF APPROVAL]. My competency certificate number is: [COMPETENCY CERTIFICATE NUMBER]

Please find a copy of my competency certificate attached.


  • Did you write a bold heading?
  • Did you list the required courses along with the unit standard no?
  • Did you list the proficiency certificate details including:
    – Name of the training institution
    – Certificate Number
    – Course number
    – PFTC accreditation number
    – SAPS accreditation number
    – Training institution contact number and address
  • Did you attach copies of the certificates and statements of results?
  • Did you state that you have obtained the relevant competency certificate for this type of firearm, along with the date approved, station where applied, and competency certificate number?
  • Did you attach a copy of your competency certificate?
  • Is this section well written and easy to read?

6. Give details about how and where you are going to safely store the firearm

Explain to the registrar that you have the required safekeeping facilities where the firearm can be stored when not in use. Mention that the safe is installed as per the requirements and give its dimensions, including the wall thickness of the steel. Reassure the registrar that you keep the keys with you at all times and the rifle will be stored in the safe when not in use.

Here, you will also want to mention your home security arrangements, armed response, alarms, guard dogs if you have any. The purpose here is to convince the registrar that you are security conscious and have taken many steps to prevent the firearm from getting into the wrong hands.

It is also a great idea to attached photos of the actual safe to put the registrar at ease that you do in fact have the safe installed.


The firearm will be stored and secured in a safe that meets the requirements as laid down in the Specifications for Storage of Firearms and Ammunition Part 1: Part 1: Safes. (SABS 953-1). ISBN 0-626-12749-1.

The Safe Dimensions are as follows:
Height: 120cm
Width: 23cm
Depth: 22cm
Thickness: 6mm

The safe has a double lock and the keys are kept in my possession at all times. The firearm will be stored securely when not in use in the prescribed safe that is rawl bolted to my wall in accordance to SAPS specifications and out of sight in my bedroom cupboard. The bedroom itself also has lockable doors.

I live in a fully furnished house in an access controlled and patrolled estate with 24-hour armed security by IPSS security. The entire estate is fully walled and the perimeter and outdoor areas are well lit. I have a fully functional alarm system and the estate has armed guards who patrol 24/7. I am located 6km away from Umhlali SAPS, it is a 6-minute drive to my house. I also have a good relationship with my neighbors and I am very security conscious and responsible at all times.


  • Did you write a bold heading?
  • Did you explain that the firearm will be store in a safe while not in use?
  • Did you describe the type of safe along with measurements and specifications?
  • Did you explain how and where the safe is mounted, and that it is mounted according to the required specifications?
  • Did you describe your home along with security arrangements?
  • Did you describe yourself as being responsible and security conscious?
  • Did you attach photos of the safe?
  • Is this section well written and easy to read?

7. Give the details of the firearm to be licensed

Now it’s time to tell the registrar more about the rifle that you are applying for. Start off with basic information such as the make, model, caliber, action, and serial number.

Also, explain where the rifle was purchased from and where the rifle is being stored until your license is approved. Give them the name, contact number, and address of the shop or person you bought the firearm from.

You now need to take the opportunity to justify to the registrar why you chose this specific firearm. Talk about the affordability of both the rifle and the ammunition. When explaining why you chose this rifle, think about the features that relate to your shooting activity, such as barrel length and thickness, ability to mount a scope, weight, feeding mechanism, reliability, accuracy, etc.

You will also want to talk about the rifle’s safety features, reassuring the registrar that it is in fact safe to be used around other people. If it is a type of rifle you have used before, explain to the registrar that you are very familiar with the rifle and are proficient and comfortable using it.

You may also want to attach a photo of the rifle if possible.


Make: HOWA
Model: 1500
Caliber: .308 Winchester
Action: Bolt Action (Manually Operated)
Serial Number: xxxxx

Current Storage of the Firearm
The rifle was purchased from [NAME OF PERSON OR GUN SHOP]

The firearm is currently in storage with them until I acquire the license for it.

Choice of Firearm
I Chose the HOWA 1500 because of its reliability and price. It is one of the most affordable hunting rifles on the market and its quality is said to be as good as other rifles that are double its price. The 20-inch barrel is nice and short to be able to carry in the bush for hours at a time and it will snag less on grass and branches. The overall length of the rifle is only about a meter and it is perfect for our dense South African bushveld. The barrel is also very thick, which is one of the reasons this rifle shoots so accurately.

The rifle is a bolt action, and it is manually operated. Its 2 locking lugs help improve the accuracy substantially along with the very accurate barrel that has a 1:10 inch twist rifling. This is the preferred twist rate for the .308 Winchester round and provides adequate stability for good ballistics. The rifle has been drilled and tapped so that I can attach a scope, which will allow me to hunt at longer ranges. I will be mounting a 2.5x – 10x variable power scope on this rifle. The rifle is light due to its plastic molded stock which makes it even more comfortable to hunt with. The rifle has a capacity of 4 rounds which is more than enough to hunt most game. It also has a fixed, integral magazine and not a detachable magazine that can snag on bush and branches or drop out accidentally. (I have seen people lose their magazines in the bush because they were detachable) Reliability is not an issue with this rifle, it has been vigorously tested and this will allow me to be confident in my shots when on a hunt. The rifle has a very easy to engage 3 position safety catch. Position 1 is fire, position 2 locks the trigger and position 3 locks the bolt closed and the trigger making this a very safe rifle to use.

Choice of Caliber
The .308 is a very versatile round and has enough energy to hunt most size of game. It can be used on small game without obliterating the animal, while maintaining enough energy to take larger game as well. Bullet weights vary from 147 to 180 grain so the round you use can allow you to go for a variety of game. I intend to hunt the following game:

These magnificent animals are typically engaged from a range of 80m to about 180m. A heavier .308 Winchester round of 180gr will be used to maintain energy at the longer ranges and be able to take down this medium to large buck.

Engaged at slightly longer distances so a 168gr .308 Winchester round will suffice. These animals are medium in build and the .308 is more than adequate to take down this animal fast and ethically.

These will mostly be engaged at short distances with a lighter and faster bullet such as a 147gr .308 Winchester round. This projectile will have enough energy to take the animal quick and humanely without destroying the meat of the animal as bush pig can range from very small to very large.

These will be hunted mostly on my parent’s farm in xxxxxxxxx and this will be my primary hunting activity.


  • Did you write a bold heading?
  • Did you give the make, model, serial number, caliber, and type of firearm?
  • Did you explain where bought or inherited the firearm, as well as where it is being stored?
  • Did you explain why you chose that specific firearm, with the caliber, price, weight, action, etc. in mind?
  • Did you explain why the firearm and caliber is appropriate for the type of hunting you intend on doing?
  • Is this section well written and easy to read?

8. Conclude the motivation letter with a declaration


I am a law-abiding South African citizen with no criminal record against my name and have never been accused or found guilty of any offenses at all, nor any offenses that can declare me unfit to possess a firearm as stipulated in Section 9 of the Firearms Control Act 2000 (Act No 60 of 2000). I have sober habits and lead a healthy and responsible lifestyle. I know and understand the contents of this declaration and I have no objection in taking the prescribed oath. I consider the prescribed oath to be binding on my conscience and to live by it.

I have also proven myself to be responsible to possess a firearm for the past 9 years of being a firearm owner.

I am mentally stable with no record of liquor or substance abuse and consider myself fully qualified to endorse this declaration as true and correct.

It is my intention to comply with the Firearms Control Act No 60 of 2000 and all that is said in my motivation is true and correct. I respectfully request that the firearm license mentioned in this document will be approved.

I am willing to put forward any of my family, friends, or work colleagues to offer testimonials with regards to
my character and my mental state.

Please contact me if any further information is required in this application.

_________________________________________ _______________________________


  • Did you explain that you are a law-abiding South African citizen?
  • Did you explain that you have never been found guilty of an offense and that you are fit to possess a firearm?
  • did you explain that you are a healthy, responsible person that is mentally stable and with sober habits?
  • Did you explain that you understand, agree with, and intend to comply with the Firearms Control Act?
  • Did you offer to put forward friends and family as character references?
  • Did you name, date, and sign this document?

How’s it going with your firearm license motivation letter?

If you are currently struggling with your firearm license motivation letter, remember to keep it simple. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel! I have a sample motivation template that resulted in the approval of my hunting rifle license application that incorporates all of the elements I mentioned in this article, increasing the chances of getting your license application approved, the first time. This template is based on dozens of real-life license applications and weeks of intensive research.

If you would like to take advantage of this, enter your name and email below to download a copy for free.

    Leave a Comment, or ask me anything

    Are you currently writing your motivation letter for a hunting rifle? How are you coping? Is this your first license application? What specifically are you struggling with? If you want to share any advice or ask any questions, please leave a comment below.

    3 Replies to “How to write a motivation letter for occasional hunting”

    1. Thanks for your help I’m looking forward to have my motivation done. Thank you 🙏 I appreciate

    2. Thank you for sharing, I was not looking forward to writing the motivation but your pointers just made my life a lot easier.

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