The UK Rules
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Apply for Firearm Certificate

Applying for a Firearms and Shotgun Certificate

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.

Fee for Shotgun and Firearm Certificates (and renewal)

Note: These 2017 licence fees are for England, Scotland, and Wales. As a rule, shotgun and firearms certificates are valid for 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, he will not grant or renew the licence.

He 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.

Firearm and Shotgun Certificate Conditions

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.

Shotgun and Firearm CertificatesBy law, the person holding the firearm licence must:

  1. Follow any and all conditions attached to the certificate. The chief officer of police may vary of these conditions and at any time by giving notice in writing.
  2. Be able to show your firearm or shotgun certificate any time a member of the police force ask to inspect it.

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.

Prohibited Firearms in the United Kingdom

Some types of firearms are completely prohibited in the United Kingdom. There is no licence available for them. It is an offence to acquire, buy, or possess certain firearms without authorisation from the Home Secretary.

Firearms Licensing Medical Process

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 firearms licence gets cancelled for any reason. In this case the extra encoded reminder would then get deactivated.

How to Apply for Shotgun and Firearm Certificates in the United Kingdom