Can I borrow a shotgun?

A non certificate holder may use a shotgun in the following circumstances:

  • They may borrow a shotgun from the occupier of private land and use it on that land in the occupier’s presence. For a borrower under 18 years old, the occupier must be over 18 years old.
  • Whilst at a shooting ground approved by the police for shooting at artificial targets only.

Note that “occupier” is not defined by the Firearms Act 1968 but may be taken to include the owner, tenant or licence holder as amended in the Policing and Crime Act 2016, with thanks to work by the Countryside Alliance

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 contact the Countryside Alliance Shooting Team at

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