The Western Shooters of South Africa (WSSA) had been running as a shooting association for approximately four and a half years but was not growing in strength. One of the reasons for the WSSA not growing, was that the requisite period correct firearms could not be obtained.

One of the ways of obtaining the correct firearms for members was for the WSSA to obtain accreditation as a sports shooting organisation, which accreditation is only granted in South Africa by the South African Police Service (SAPS).

During about March of 2009 the members and the Executive Committee of the WSSA decided to formally submit an application to the SAPS for accreditation as a sports shooting organisation.

The application was compiled during March, April and May, with input from all members and subsequently submitted to the Diep River Police Station of the SAPS on the 28th May 2009.

The application was made as comprehensive as possible and was 110 pages long.

After the designated firearms officer (DFO) at Diep River police station checked the application, the application was forwarded to the provincial office of the SAPS and was sent by the provincial office to Head Office (CFR) at the end of July 2009.

During about end August 2009, the Executive Committee of the WSSA received the first letter from the SAPS with a number of further documents that were required. By the end September/ beginning October all relevant further information and documentation had been furnished to the SAPS.

The WSSA's application thereafter had to be vetted by the committee at the SAPS which dealt with sports accreditation applications and on Thursday, 8th July 2010, the SAPS committee granted the WSSA's application for accreditation as a sports shooting organisation.

The official certificate was printed by the SAPS on the 13th August 2010 and officially from the 13th August 2010, the WSSA is now permitted to grant dedicated status to members who comply with the WSSA's requirements for dedicated status.

Accreditation is an extremely necessary and important facet for any sports shooting organisation in South Africa, as without accreditation, the shooting sport cannot grow, as only dedicated sports persons are entitled to own more firearms than the limited number as prescribed in the Firearms Control Act.

Obtaining accreditation was not as easy as the SAPS are extremely circumspect in awarding accreditation to any sports shooting organisation, as once accreditation has been granted to the said organisation, it is up to the organisation itself to ensure that its members are compliant with the Firearms Control Act and all requisite conditions for awarding status to its members.