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Application for the grant or renewal of a Firearm or Shotgun certificate

Please read the following BEFORE completing the application form...


Section 1 of the Firearms Act 1968 (as amended) applies to all firearms except:

  • a shotgun
  • an air weapon (unless declared specially dangerous)
  • prohibited weapons such as centre fire self-loading rifles, handguns, machine guns etc (unless specifically authorised)


Section 1(3)a of the Firearms Act 1968 (as amended) defines a shotgun as:

  • a smooth bore gun (not being an air weapon)
  • having a barrel not less than 24" (60.96cm) and a bore less than 2" (5.08cm)
  • either having no magazine, or a non-detachable magazine incapable of holding more than two cartridges

  1. You must not withhold information about any conviction. This includes motoring offences, binding overs, formal written warnings, cautions and convictions in and outside Great Britain, and (by virtue of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975) convictions which are spent under the 1974 Act. A conditional discharge and an absolute discharge both count as convictions for this purpose. Details of parking offences and fixed penalty notices do not need to be declared.

  2. Applications must be accompanied by four identical photographs of you and sized 45mm x 35mm. The photographs must be full face and without a hat and must be a current true likeness. Ordinary passport style photographs are suitable for this purpose. A computer generated likeness is acceptable if it is full face, against a plain background and printed on good quality gloss or matt paper. If you are applying for both a firearm and a shotgun certificate you need only submit four photographs.

  3. One of the photographs must be signed in ink, on the back by you, the applicant.

  4. Unless otherwise advised by the police, you should post or take the completed form together with the fee and photographs to the police firearms licensing department. In the case of an application for renewal of a shotgun certificate, the current certificate or a signed and dated recent copy should be included with the application.

  5. Personal health and medical declaration. You must disclose any physical or mental health condition that may affect your ability to safely possess and use a firearm (including a shotgun). This includes for example epilepsy, stroke, stress related illness, depression, alcoholism, heart disease, cancer etc. If in doubt, consult your GP. The police may contact your GP and/or specialist to obtain factual details of any medical history in respect of your application.

  6. Where an application is successful a letter will be sent to your GP and, where there is good reason, a medical report may be required.

  7. Section 21 of the Firearms Act 1968 details restrictions on the possession of firearms and ammunition by those previously convicted of crime. From 14 July 2014 a person receiving a suspended sentence of a minimum duration of three months or more will be prohibited from possessing a firearm for five years from the second day after sentence.

  8. To apply for both a firearm certificate and a shotgun certificate and to have them expire at the same time (coterminous certificates) you should complete the sections for firearm and shotgun certificates. The fee payable for such certificates may be less than the normal fee for the grant or renewal of a shotgun certificate if both of your application forms are dealt with at the same time.

  9. (1) To acquire or possess firearms or ammunition under Section 1 of the Firearms Act 1968, you have to provide evidence that you have a good reason to do so. This applies to the grant, renewal or variation of a firearm certificate. This evidence can take several forms: permission to shoot over land or membership of a target shooting club, or a booking or invitation to go deer stalking are examples, but these are not exhaustive.

  10. Section 1: Firearms Only

    (2) Please provide the address of one area of land where you have permission to shoot, together with the name, address and telephone number of the person who has given you that permission or the details of a Home Office approved club of which you are a full member. NB: You will not necessarily be limited to shooting over that individual piece of land or at that club.

  11. You must complete all parts of the form required for the type of certificate for which you are applying.

  12. When applying for a firearm certificate, you should have gained the permission of two people who have agreed to act as referees for you. You must complete Part F (i & ii) with their details. When applying for a shotgun certificate you should have gained the permission of one person to act as a referee for you. You must complete part F (i) with their details.

  13. The referee(s) who have agreed to act for you must have known you personally for at least two years and must be resident in Great Britain. Referees must not be a member of your family, a registered firearms dealer, a serving police officer or police employee. Referees must be of good character and any references they agree to provide must be given freely and not on payment.

  14. The equality monitoring information you provide in Part G aims to assist the force in meeting its duties as a Public Authority. The information will be kept separately from the application.


Application Form

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