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England - Apply for a Firearm Certificate or Licence

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  1. Before applying for Firearm Certificate or Licence it may be a good thing if you will seek advice from other firearm users or shooting organisations. They may help you decide which type of certificate you need to apply for.
  2. You can obtain a Firearm Certificate or Licence from your local police force, Firearms Licensing Unit.
  3. A link is provided under 'Office Locations & Contacts' which you can use to search for your local police force's website.
  4. Complete an application form. Application forms can be obtained from the front desk of any Police Station in the City or from the Licensing Office.
  5. You will need to provide one passport photograph.
  6. Have two referees for a firearm certificate and one referee for shotgun certificate.
  7. Before a certificate is issued to you, you must also prove to the chief officer of police that you’re eligible to have a firearms certificate and pose no danger to public safety or to the peace.
  8. Pay the fee for the certificate you are applying for (Check out the website of your local firearms licensing unit for the fees).

Required Documents[edit]

  • Completed application form
  • One passport photograph

Office Locations & Contacts[edit]

Following link can provide you with Police Office Locations : UK police force websites



Applicants for a firearm or shotgun certificate, must be able to show proof the he or she is a fit and proper person to be entrusted with firearms.

There are certain prohibitions from the possession of firearms (including shotguns, antique firearms and air weapons). Certain individuals are not only prohibited from possessing their own guns but are also prohibited, for example, to take part in clay pigeon shoots, or from possession of guns on a shooting range.

In simple terms, the following applies:

  • Any person sentenced to serve between three months and three years, (or who has been given a suspended sentence of this duration) is prohibited from possessing any firearm for a period of five years.
  • Any person sentenced to serve a prison sentence of three years or more is prohibited as above for life

(These prohibitions may be is lifted on appeal to a Crown Court).

Both firearm and shotgun application requires the applicant to disclose previous convictions. It is an offence under the Firearms Act to make a false declaration when answering this question.


Check out the website of your local firearms licensing unit for the fees. LINK


Explain the time until which the certificate/document is valid.
e.g. Birth Certificate Valid Forever

Documents to Use[edit]

Please attach documents that can be used by people. e.g. links

Sample Documents[edit]

Please attach sample completed documents that would help other people.

Processing Time[edit]

A certificate usually lasts 5 years from the date it was issued or renewed.

Related Videos[edit]

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type='website'>video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites. 	
Please remove the '&' inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url '' Video ID is 'Y0US7oR_t3M'.



Please provide other instructions related to the certificate/documents.
e.g. The state office holds birth records since january 1908.

Required Information[edit]

A list which displays the kind of information which is required to complete the procedure.
1. Date of Birth.
2. City or County of Birth.

Need for the Document[edit]

You need a firearms certificate or licence before you can own, buy or acquire a firearm or shotgun. You will also need a certificate to buy ammunition.

Information which might help[edit]

Firearm Certificate

Your Firearm Certificate or Licence bears a photograph of you and information about the firearm(s) or shotgun(s) currently in your possession.

Note: You must follow any condition attached to the certificate (the chief officer of police can vary these conditions at any time by giving notice in writing) be able to show your firearm or shotgun certificate if asked by the police.

European Firearms Pass

If you are planning to travel within Europe with your guns, you will need to obtain a European Firearms Pass. You can apply for this at the same time as your firearms certificate.

European firearms passes are usually valid for 5 years or the length of your firearm certificate - whichever is shorter.

You can renew a European firearms pass by applying to the chief officer of police in your local police force.

Other uses of the Document/Certificate[edit]

Please explain what are other uses of obtaining this document/certificate.
e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.

External Links[edit]



More information which might help people.