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Frequently Asked Questions

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Before a firearm can be purchased it is a requirement that prior authorisation is obtained by way of a variation to the firearm certificate. The authority given will state the quantity, the type (e.g. Rifle, Muzzle Loading Pistol etc) and the calibre of the firearm authorised along with the amount of ammunition you will be permitted to acquire.

The person selling the firearm (e.g. a firearm dealer or a firearm certificate holder) will check the authority on the certificate and if correct will enter the details of the firearm on Table 2 (on reverse of certificate). This will show the date of the sale or transfer, the name and address of the person selling or transferring the firearm, the quantity, calibre, type, identification number of the firearm, the seller's authority (e.g. dealer registration number or firearm certificate number).

The seller is then required to notify the Chief Officer of Police for the area in which the holder resides and who issued the firearm certificate of the transaction.

With the exception of the need to obtain a prior authorisation the same procedure is necessary for the sale or transfer of a shotgun.

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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.