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    Q233: How do I apply for a firearms/shotgun certificate?

    You need to apply to your local police force who will 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 their 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 their possession without danger to the public safety or to the peace.

    Along with the application form, you will have to provide, one recent passport sized photo of a true likeness, and details of two persons who are prepared to provide a reference to the application in the case of a firearms certificate and one person in the case of an application for a shotgun certificate. 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 need to complete the personal health and medical declaration part of the application form. This includes you providing details of your GP and signing the form granting the police permission to obtain factual details of any medical history in relation to your suitability to possess a firearm and/or shotgun.

    The application form also requires you to disclose if you have been convicted or received a written caution.

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

      • Has reason to believe that the applicant is prohibited by this Act from possessing a shot gun; or
      • 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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