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Firearms Certificate Applications

To apply for a firearms and/or shotgun licence you must complete the following form:

Form 201 - Application for the grant or renewal of a firearm and/or shotgun certificate [1MB]

Additionally you will need to cover the costs and provide the additional information found here:

Application Checklist [147KB]

Click here to use our Step-by-Step Firearms License Guide


If you require more information on the application process consult the Firearms Applicant Information Section for further detail.

Firearms Certificate Section 1 Good Reason for Possession of Firearms- grant or renewal

Section 27(1) of the Firearms Act 1968 (as amended) provides that a chief officer of police shall grant or renew a firearm certificate if he is satisfied that the applicant has a good reason to possess/purchase/acquire the firearm or ammunition of which the application is made.

How do I apply for a Firearms Certificate?

Under the Firearms Acts 1968-1997 if you apply for a firearm certificate you must provide the details of two people who have agreed to act as referees, this must be completed at part F & G on Form 201 [1MB] .

The referees who have agreed to act for you must have know you personally for at least two years and must be resident in Great Britain.  Referees must not be a member of your family, a registered firearms dealer, a serving police officer or police employee.  Referees must be of good character and references must be given freely and not on payment.

An application for the variation of a firearm certificate does not require referees.

Request for an "Open" Firearms Certificate

With regards to the removal of the specification included on all initial Firearms Certificates; 'land deemed suitable by the Chief Officer of Police' conditions:

The condition is automatically altered on the first renewal after five years.

Persons requesting the alteration of this condition before their first renewal are required to submit a written request highlighting the reasons as to why this current condition precludes them from shooting effectively. It should include supporting documentation outlined below:

  • relevant qualifications ie. DSC level 1
  • work-related use of firearms in pest control
  • appropriate public liability insurance
  • written testimony of competence and decision making

Each request will be judged on its individual merits

The applicant will be required to demonstrate and also evidence, why their circumstances i.e. skills, attitude toward safety, knowledge and experience in the use of Section One Firearms - is different to other certificate holders who remain constrained by the condition.

You should be aware that it is unlikely that the casual recreational shooter will be in a position to justify deviation from Home Office guidelines and that there is no right of appeal against the decision in respect of your request.

Adherence to my Certificate Conditions

Shooters who use their firearms for hunting, deer stalking and vermin control, must ensure that they are using their firearms within the authorisation limits of their firearm certificates. Importantly, this includes where you are permitted to shoot.

It is your responsibility to ensure that the land you are shooting on is authorised on your firearm certificate, or deemed suitable by the Chief Officer of Police for that area.

Remember, unlike a shotgun, you cannot lend or borrow firearms. You must hold the authority for a particular weapon, on your firearm certificate, in order to have it in your possession.

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