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Pangolin H Series FAQ

Your firearm is best kept on your person when driving, but the law makes provision for you to store your firearm in your vehicle on reaching your destination.  So in brief the answer is “Yes” – but only if:

  1. It is locked in a safe that complies with the requirements of the Firearms Control Regulations of the FIREARMS CONTROL ACT.
  2. The safe also complies with SANS 953-1:2018 type B3
  3. The safe has been correctly installed and certified as required by that standard.
  4. You may lawfully possess the firearm or ammunition.
  5. You retain exclusive access to the safe.

    Further, SANS 953-1:2018 requires that the vehicle must be equipped with an immobiliser.

    SANS 953-1:2018 also states that vehicle firearm safes are only intended for the temporary storage of firearms, e.g. when travelling or where firearms are not allowed in the premises you are visiting and there is no facility for their safekeeping in compliance with the Firearms Control Regulations.

    For more information see Are vehicle safes legal?.

As required in the FIREARMS CONTROL ACT, 2000 and Firearms Control Regulations, 2004 the Pangolin H and R Series safes “conforms to the prescripts of SABS Standard 953-1”.

Pangolin safes are available from approved resellers or can be purchased directly off our website.  Check our website for a list of resellers or contact us to find the one closest to you.

The 180F and 180D safes accommodates up to one Glock 17 and clip and the 180G safe will take two Glock 17’s.  If you are still unsure visit your local reseller to check physically with a demo unit.  Alternatively contact us with your query.

Two years on the 180F and 180D. One year on the 180G.  Three years on R series safes. The Pangolin manufacturer’s warranty covers any defect in materials or workmanship affecting your Pangolin safe for the warranty period from the date of purchase by the original purchaser.  The usual T&C’s apply (not subject to abuse, etc.) and are detailed in the manual.

Pangolin H series safes have been assessed, tested and verified by an independent test authority to comply with the requirements of SANS 953-1:2018 for type B3 safes for motor vehicles and caravans.  The assessment includes checks and tests as necessary for materials, design, construction, attachment and durability.

Two examples: SANS 953-1:2018 for type B3 safes does not require re-locking devices, nor does it require being subject to the resistance to attack test (these requirements are only specified for higher security safes).  All Pangolin H and R safes are fitted with active re-locking devices.  The Pangolin H safe has also passed the very stringent resistance to attack test.

The Pangolin H Series safes employ a clamshell construction (as contemplated in the FIREARMS CONTROL REGULATIONS) so there is no door and therefore the requirement is not applicable.  The intent of the door opening angle is to assure unobstructed access to a safe with conventional construction.  The Pangolin solution opening to more than 80°  affords significantly better access than a conventional safe at 90°.

The Pangolin H Series safes employ a clamshell construction (as contemplated in the FIREARMS CONTROL ACT) so there is no door and therefore the requirement is not applicable.  However, it is still necessary to comply with both the FIREARMS CONTROL ACT and the intent of this requirement, which is to protect the lock and associated components.  The FCA requires a cover or lid of minimum 2 mm thickness.  The Pangolin bare metal thickness is 3 mm throughout, not only the lid.  The Pangolin protects the locking parts with high hardness steel reinforcing in all potentially vulnerable points with an effective equivalent mild steel thickness far in excess of 6 mm.  In addition to this, all Pangolin H Series safes are fitted with automatic relocking devices, an additional security feature only found on high security vaults and required on type C1 safes intended for use by security industries, official institutions and key points.

Your Pangolin Certificate of Installation serves as evidence that you have taken all necessary precautions required by the FCA, that you have complied with the law and therefore cannot be found negligent.

If your vehicle is recovered it is probable that your firearm will be found secure inside the safe.

If not, and assuming that the theft is reported to SAPS as usual for any vehicle theft, an investigation into the loss of your firearm would be normal, but you can expect that any case that may be opened against you will be dropped once you furnish your Pangolin Certificate of Installation, especially if it is supported by the evidential record created by Pangolin Certified Installers.

To comply with firearms control regulations, all vehicle firearm safes must be affixed by an installer who must provide you with an installation certificate that complies with the requirements of SANS 953-1:2018.  Note that the vehicle must be equipped with an immobiliser.

The standard does not specifically define “installer” but Pangolin Products interprets this to mean a fitment centre or professional installer who is independent and familiar with vehicle installations so that integrity is assured and risk of compromising the vehicle and safe is minimised.

If compliance with the firearms control regulations is not a requirement for you (e.g. the safe is used for valuables or certification is impossible) then from a practical standpoint you can install the safe yourself.  It is within the abilities of any competent DIY person.

Keep it in a safe place (but not in the Pangolin) and supply your insurance provider with a copy.

No, there is no legal requirement to register your Pangolin vehicle safe or installation certificate with SAPS or SABS.

Should you lose both keys to your Pangolin H Series vehicle safe, Pangolin Products will have to verify the legitimate owner of the safe before supplying replacement keys.  The registration is therefore purely for authentication purposes to maintain the security of your Pangolin safe.

If you have registered your Pangolin firearm safe with Pangolin Security Products according to the instructions provided with the safe we can supply you with a replacement key after authenticating the request.  If it has not been registered and we cannot authenticate the legitimate owner, the safe will have to be destroyed to gain access to it.

Pangolin models 180F and 180G (Fixed units): The safe is readily un-installed once it is unlocked.  The exposed mounting holes should be blanked off to prevent possible water and dust ingress and to maintain aesthetics.

Pangolin model 180D (Docked unit): The dock is readily un-installed once the safe is detached.  The exposed mounting holes should be blanked off to prevent possible water and dust ingress and to maintain aesthetics. You can also choose to leave the dock in your old car and install a new dock in your new vehicle.

All Units: If you sell the safe with the vehicle, notify Pangolin Security Products so that your details can be de-linked from the safe serial number and replaced with the new owner’s details.

The requirements of the FIREARMS CONTROL REGULATIONS and SANS 953-1:2018 are that the mounting location must:

  1. Permit attachment by bolting to the floor or other part of the steel bodywork of the vehicle.
  2. Allow the safe to be non-conspicuous once installed.

Additional practical requirements are that there must be ready access to the interior of the safe and it must not obstruct vehicle driver’s controls.  It is a matter of choice between the owner and installer.  These are some of the more popular examples that have been found to work:

  • On the floor immediately in front of the front passenger seat
  • On the floor partly under the driver’s seat, which is pushed back for access by the driver
  • On the floor in front of a left or right rear passenger seat
  • On the floor in front of a left or right passenger seat but partly under a front seat, which may need to be pushed forward for access
  • In the boot of a car or load bin of a bakkie
  • On the steel platform behind the front seats in extended cab bakkies.

See “Installation” for more information.

In order to be compliant with regulations and maintain integrity of the installation it is essential that the Pangolin is secured with 4 bolts no smaller in diameter than those supplied and in the designated positions.

Yes, provided that:

  1. The safe has been installed In compliance with the requirements of the Firearms Control Regulations of the FIREARMS CONTROL ACT.
  2. The safe has been installed in compliance with SANS 953-1:2018 for type B1
  3. The Pangolin safe has been installed with at least four anchor bolts of minimum 8 mm diameter at the provided mounting locations.
  4. You retain exclusive access to the safe.

Note: Installation requirements for type B1 safes are not the same as B3 safes.

No, the Pangolin L series laptop safes are not compliant with either the FIREARMS CONTROL ACT or SANS 953-1 and cannot legally be used for firearms.

There are three sets of bolts in a Pangolin docked safe.

  1. The machine screws (bolts and nuts in common terminology) for mounting the dock to the bodywork of the vehicle.
  2. The boltwork (safe terminology) for securing the safe onto the mounted dock.
  3. The boltwork (safe terminology) for securing the safe cover in the locked position.

The dock is bolted to the bodywork of the vehicle with four bolts and the safe in turn is bolted onto the dock with four bolts.  In this way the requirement is met for an arrangement for bolting the safe to the body or to the floor of a vehicle so that it is not removable from it’s mounted position.  Nothing in the standard precludes a safe from having two bases.

Bear in mind that all type B safes are removable by unbolting once they are unlocked and opened.  The Pangolin docked safe simply has additional boltwork that permits it to be moved by quick unbolting from the dock.

There is a solution available from Pangolin Security Products or your installer in the form of a special fastener that can attach securely to the bodywork from one side only.  NB: This fastener must only be used when access to the underside of the floorplate is not possible.

This certainly can happen as no-one can be expected to know and memorise all elements of the law.  Also most people are not well informed about this.  In this case it will be necessary to refer the police to the applicable legislation.  For your convenience the most important clauses of the FCA and SANS standard are on a label attached to the inside bottom of Pangolin H safes so you will always have this available.  You may also choose to keep a copy of the relevant pages from the Firearms Control Act, the Regulations and SANS 953-1:2018 handy inside the safe.  The applicable extracts are conveniently summarised in the “Are vehicle safes legal” document available here.

Yes you can, but bear in mind that the safe acts like a Faraday cage which highly attenuates radio frequency signals.  This will cause the detection range to be greatly reduced and may be too little to be of any real value for tracking purposes. An option with a purpose designed, optimised built-in GPS tracker unit that overcomes this problem for a track and trace service is available from Quicktrack.

Nothing in the law says that you cannot do this, except that there may a practical problem to install it so that it is non-conspicuous as is required in SANS 953-1.

If any aftermarket product is fitted intrusively to your vehicle (i.e. involving physical alteration in any way) then you can expect that your vehicle warranty will be affected.  The way in which it is affected will depend on the vehicle manufacturer, but as a minimum you can expect to lose the warranty on corrosion protection at the Pangolin installation site. You could investigate the option of having the installation performed by the dealer who may then be prepared to maintain the warranty.

Pangolin H safes conform with the requirements for a type B1 wall mount safe, but need to be supplied with fasteners that comply with SANS 953-1 for type B1 safes.

If a model 180F or 180G safe is to be used for wall mounting please specify this when ordering so that the correct fasteners can be supplied with the safe.

Model D safes can be wall mounted simply by ordering the WD180 wall dock option.  This is supplied with the correct fasteners for wall mounting in compliance with the Standard

SANS 953-1 states “permanently fixed”, the meaning of which is immediately clarified in the same clause by the statement “Safes shall never be left standing loose.”  The means of securing a type B3 safe is further clarified as “there shall be an arrangement for bolting the safe to the body or to the floor of a vehicle”.  The dock is bolted to the body or floor of the vehicle and the safe is bolted to the dock so that, once locked, the safe acts as one unit that is effectively bolted to the body or floor of the vehicle and is not left standing loose.  Proof of efficacy lies in having passed the very stringent Resistance to Attack test in SANS 953-1 even though this is not required for a type B3 safe.

These options were considered for the Pangolin H but discarded because they are less secure and can let you down in an emergency.  This will be reviewed as new technology becomes available.