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Frequently Asked Questions

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Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

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You need to apply to your local police force who will more than likely have a firearm administration section.

Before a firearm certificate is granted or renewed the Chief Officer of Police is required to be satisfied that:

  • The applicant is fit to be entrusted with a firearm to which Section 1 of the Firearms Act 1968 applies and is not a person prohibited by that Act (e.g. by age or previous conviction) from possessing such a firearm.
  • The applicant has a good reason for having in his possession, or for purchasing or acquiring the firearm and ammunition in respect of which the application is made.
  • That in all circumstances the applicant can be permitted to have the firearm or ammunition in his possession without danger to the public safety or to the peace.

Along with the application form you will have to provide, four identical passport sized photographs along with the details of two persons who are prepared to provide a reference to the application. A referee must not be a member of the applicant's family, a serving police officer or police employee or a registered firearm dealer. A referee should be of good character and the reference should be freely given and not on payment of any fee.

You also need to provide details of your GP and sign a form granting the police permission to request factual details of your medical history.

No shotgun certificate will granted or renewed if the Chief Officer of Police -

1) Has reason to believe that the applicant is prohibited by this Act from possessing a shot gun; or
2) Is satisfied that the applicant does not have a good reason for possessing, purchasing or acquiring one.

Please note that all calls to police involving firearms are treated as if it is a genuine firearm so be aware that if you do wave an imitation firearm around you could find yourself surrounded by firearms officers pointing real weapons at you.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.