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Frequently Asked Questions

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Firearm Certificates/Shotgun Certificates can be refused on the following grounds, if the Chief Officer of Police is satisfied that the applicant cannot fulfil the criteria for the grant or renewal of a certificate (see question Q233).

A firearm certificate may be fully revoked by the Chief Officer of Police for the area in which the holder resides if he has reason to believe -

  • That the holder is of intemperate habits or unsound mind or is otherwise unfitted to be entrusted with such a firearm; or
  • That the holder can no longer be permitted to have the firearm or ammunition to which the certificate relates in his possession without danger to the public safety or to the peace; or
  • That the holder is prohibited by this Act from possessing a firearm to which section 1 of the Firearms Act applies; or
  • That the holder no longer has a good reason for having in his possession, or for purchasing or acquiring, the firearm or ammunition which he is authorised by virtue of the certificate to have in his possession or to purchase or acquire.


A firearm certificate may be partially revoked only if the Chief Officer of Police is satisfied that the holder no longer has a good reason for having in his possession or for purchasing or acquiring, the firearm or ammunition to which the partial revocation relates.

A shotgun certificate may be revoked by the Chief Officer of Police for the area in which the holder resides if he is satisfied that the holder is prohibited by this Act from possessing a shotgun or cannot be permitted to possess a shot gun without danger to the public safety or to the peace.

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.