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Firearms Licensing

On this page you will find advice on applying for or renewing a firearms certificate, the laws on borrowing firearms, details of how to contact your local Firearms Licensing Team, and information on firearms licence fees.

The Countryside Alliance supports a fair and consistent firearms licensing system. We work alongside the Home Office and police forces in England and Wales, and the devolved organisations in Scotland and Northern Ireland – Police Scotland and Police Service of Northern Ireland, respectively, to ensure success.

The past decade has seen the shooting community receive a sub-par licensing service, with delays and backlogs rife across the country. With 43 separate police forces across England and Wales the licensing process has been described as a ‘postcode lottery’. Where forces are providing a sub-standard service, we will be the first organisation to hold them to account and help them turn their performance round. We will not stand for certain parts of the country being disadvantaged unnecessarily.

The Campaign for Shooting works alongside several organisations, police forces, civil servants and politicians to ensure that the shooting community are treated fairly, and the system works. We have a highly-experienced team dedicated to our members who require assistance through the firearms licensing process. In addition, our membership allows for a half an hour free phone call with our legal representatives if required.

If you would like any advice or are interested in becoming a member call the Campaign for Shooting team on 0207 840 9340, or email us.

The most up to date guidance on firearms licensing can be found here.

If you would like to apply for a shotgun or firearm licence, please click here.

Advice on applying for or renewing a firearms certificate

Applications for shotgun and firearms certificates can be made here.

  • When filling in your application ensure you follow the police notes correctly and fill in the form with no mistakes. Any errors or missing gaps could result in a delay to being granted a certificate.
  • All renewals should be completed and sent back in a timely fashion to ensure there are no delays.
  • Any communication with the police should be done over email, where records can be kept.
  • Keep up to date with your police forces policy.

Laws on borrowing firearms

Can I borrow a shotgun?

A non certificate holder may borrow a shotgun from another person on private premises if all the following conditions are met:

  • The borrower of a shotgun may be of any age however the lender must be aged 18 or older and have a valid certificate in respect of the shotgun.
  • The borrower must be in the presence of the lender; that is in sight and/or earshot.
  • Use of a shotgun must comply with any conditions on the certificate held in respect of that shotgun.
  • The purpose of the loan is only for hunting animals, shooting game or vermin or shooting artificial targets.
  • The lender must be a person who has the right to allow others to enter the premises for the purpose of hunting animals or shooting game or vermin, or a person authorised by them in writing.

There is no minimum age at which a person may borrow a shotgun and use it under the circumstances described above, but persons under 15 years old must be supervised by someone over the age of 21 years.

Can I borrow a rifle?

A person who does not hold a firearm certificate may borrow a rifle (the ‘estate rifle’) from the occupier of private land and use it on that land in the presence of the occupier or the occupier’s servant. “Servant” would be taken to include a stalker, gamekeeper or ghillie employed by the occupier.

  • The borrower must be aged 17 years or older. If the borrower is 17 years old, then the lender must be aged 18 years or over.
  • The rifle may only be used on the occupier’s land.
  • The occupier’s servant, if accompanying the borrower, must hold a firearm certificate for the estate rifle.
  • All conditions on the lender’s firearm certificate must be complied with.

For more information please visit the Firearms Act 1968 or email the Countryside Alliance Shooting Team.

Contact your local Firearms Licensing Team

Northern Ireland

Firearms licence fees

Certificate Type

Grant / Renewal

Total fee payable

Firearm certificate Grant £88
Firearm certificate Renewal £62
Shotgun certificate Grant £79.50
Shotgun certificate Renewal £49
Registered firearms dealer Grant / Renewal £200
Visitors' permit Individual £20
Visitors' permit Group (six or more permits) £100
Co-terminous certificates Grant of both shot gun and firearms certificates £90
Co-terminous certificates Grant of shotgun and firearms certificate £90
Co-terminous certificates Renewal of shotgun certificate / grant of firearms certificate £90
Co-terminous certificates Renewal of both shotgun and firearms certificates £65

If you have any questions about firearms licensing fees, or would like advice, please email the Campaign for Shooting.

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