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Pangolin H Series FAQ

Your firearm is best kept on your person, but the law does make provision for circumstances where this is not possible.  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 download the PDF “Vehicle Safe Legal Requirements”.

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

Pangolin H Series safes are available from approved resellers.  Check our website for a list of resellers or contact us to find the one closest to you.

The 180 (smaller) safe accommodates up to one Glock 17 and clip and the 210 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. The Pangolin manufacturer’s warranty covers any defect in materials or workmanship affecting your Pangolin safe for two years 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 as well as complying with the requirement for manufacture in a production facility employing a certified ISO 9001 Quality Management System.

Two examples: SANS 953-1:2018 for type B3 safes does not require re-lockers, nor does it require being subject to the resistance to attack test (these requirements are only specified for higher security safes).  All Pangolin H safes are fitted with re-lockers.  The 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 ACT) 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 held liable. 

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 opened against you will be dropped once you furnish your Pangolin Certificate of Installation.

The position is the same as if your safe at home was broken into or pulled off the wall or floor with your firearm in it (this does happen).”

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 need to register your Pangolin H series 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 H Series safe.

If you have registered your Pangolin H Series safe with Pangolin 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.

Fixed unit: 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.

 

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.

The requirements of the FIREARMS CONTROL ACT 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 with enough headroom to allow it to be fully opened and it must not obstruct vehicle driver’s controls.  It is a matter of choice between the owner and installer.  These are 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 rear rear 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.

There is a solution available from Pangolin 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.

In order to be compliant with regulations and maintain integrity of the installation it is essential that the Pangolin is secured to the steel bodywork of your vehicle.

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 B2.
  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 may lawfully possess the firearm or ammunition.
  5. You retain exclusive access to the safe.

Note: Installation requirements for type B2 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.

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.  One way to do this is 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 “Legal Standing of Vehicle Firearms Safes” document available for download from the Pangolin website.

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.

Technically the answer is yes as the Pangolin H also meets the requirement for a type B1 safe, but practically there may be difficulty using a vertically oriented Pangolin safe, so this should be checked beforehand.

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.