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    Q503: What is a firearm permit?

    A firearm permit may be issued to a person to allow them to temporarily possess firearms and shotguns. A permit cannot be issued to authorise the purchase or acquisition of firearms or ammunition.

    There are different types of permit to allow for various situations in which a person may need to temporarily possess a firearm or shotgun. For example:

      • A permit to allow an auctioneer to sell by auction, expose for sale by auction, or have their possession for sale by auction, the firearms, ammunitions, shotguns and / or air weapons specified in the permit until the date of expiry shown on the permit.
      • A permit to authorise the temporary possession of firearms or ammunition by a relative of the executor of a deceased person or the receiver or liquidator of a bankrupt.

    Permits are issued by the firearms licensing unit of a police force in circumstances when it would not be appropriate to issue a firearm or shotgun certificate, or to register a person as a firearms dealer. In considering an application for a permit, the police will conduct basic background checks on police systems to ensure the suitability of the applicant if it does not involve an existing certificate holder.

    A permit may also be issued to visitors (non-residents) to allow them to bring firearms and shotguns into the United Kingdom.

    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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