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Shotgun Applications

A shotgun is defined as a smooth-bore gun (not being an airgun) which:

a)  Has a barrel not less than 60.96 centimetres (24 inches) in length with a bore less than 5.08 centimetres (2 inches) in diameter.
b)  Either has no magazine or has a fixed magazine not holding more than two cartridges and
c)  Is not a revolver gun.

Shot guns not within this definition require a firearms certificate.  

Section 2 Shotguns Good reason for possession of firearms – grant or renewal

Section 28 (1) of the Firearms Act 1968 (as amended) provides that a shotgun certificate shall be granted or renewed by a chief officer of police unless he has reason to believe that the applicant is either, prohibited by this Act from possessing a shotgun or that the applicant cannot be permitted to possess a shotgun without danger to public safety or to the peace.  

Recent legislation - important changes with effect from 14/07/2014

Section 21(2C) Firearms Act 1968, amended by Section 110 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime & Policing Act 2014, states that a person who has previously received a suspended criminal sentence of three months or more are prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition for a period of five years.  The prohibition period commences on the second day after the date on which sentence has been passed and came into force on 14/07/2014.

Additionally, under the provisions extended to Section 21, 1968 persons who have served or received a criminal sentence will not be able to possess an antique firearm and it is irrelevant whether it is possessed as a curiosity or ornament.  Persons to whom this applies who currently lawfully possess an antique firearm will need to dispose of it.

Subsection (1) amends section 21 of the Firearms Act 1968 Act. Section 21 prohibits persons who have previously been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of between three months and three years from possessing firearms or ammunition for a period of five years. Persons who have previously been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of more than three years are permanently prohibited.

Please click here for further information:


 Before you apply, please make sure you read the applicant information.

Application for a Shotgun Certificate (Form 201) (PDF - 391kb)  (Opens in new window)

Use this form to apply for a grant or renewal of a shot gun certificate. This form is effective from 1st December 2013 and replaces Form 103). Form 103 will no longer be accepted as of 1st January 2014. For accompanying notes refer to Form 201A and for variations Form 202.

Application Notes - Form 201A (PDF - 225kb)  (Opens in new window)

Guidance notes for completing an application for a Shotgun Grant/Renewal certificate (revised 1st December 2013)

Transfer Notification Form11 (PDF - 125kb)  (Opens in new window)

Use this form to notify us of an acquisition, transferral or disposal of a firearm or shotgun the procedure of which is comprehensively explained in our Buying and Selling Shotguns Guide.

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