Police forces issue shotgun and firearm certificates. You cannot acquire, buy, or possess a firearm or a shotgun, unless you have a firearms licence. You also need a certificate to buy ammunition.
APPLY FOR A FIREARMS LICENCE UK: The first step is to get a firearm or shotgun certificate application form.
The form is available from the firearms licensing unit located at the local police station. The next step is to:
The chief officer of police will need proof that all applicants can safely hold a firearms certificate. They need assurance that giving you the permit will not pose any danger to the peace or to public safety.
Note: The 2021 licence fees are for England, Scotland, and Wales. As a rule, when you apply for a shotgun and firearms certificate it will be valid for five (5) years from the date of issue or renewal.
The chief officer of police may find a reason why you should not have a shotgun (e.g. under the Firearms Act). In this case, they will not grant or renew the licence.
They will also consider whether you have a good reason to possess, buy, or acquire a shotgun. Examples could be for hunting and shooting wildlife animals. Unless they think you have a good reason to own a gun, they will not grant or renew the firearms permit.
All shotgun and firearm certificates include a photograph of the permit holder. It also has information about the particular firearm(s) or shotgun(s) in their possession.
By law, the person holding the firearm licence must:
There is a European Firearms Pass available for those who want to travel with their guns in Europe. The application for this can take place at the same time as the UK firearms certificate.
As a rule, European firearms passes are also valid for 5 years or the validity of your firearm certificate (whichever is the shortest time).
Note: Renew a European firearms pass by application to the chief officer of police at the local constabulary.
The firearms and gun law prohibits certain types of weapons in the United Kingdom. There is no licence available for them. It is an offence to acquire, buy, or possess certain firearms without having authorisation from the Home Secretary.
The firearms and shotgun application form changed format on the 1st of April 2016. The police still contact the applicant's GP to ask about any known medical condition that would be a contraindication for issuing the permit.
But, the police now ask the GP to place an encoded reminder onto the patient record of the applicant. That means the doctor can consider notifying the police to any medical changes during the validity of the firearm or shotgun certificate.
The police send notification to the GP if the UK firearms licence gets cancelled for any reason. In this case, the extra encoded reminder would then get deactivated.
Note: The Home Office announced new medical arrangements to strengthen the existing gun ownership laws in Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales) and Northern Ireland.
Applying for Shotgun and Firearms Certificates in United Kingdom