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Prohibited Weapons & Ammunition

Cordon tape blueWhat are prohibited weapons and ammunitions?

Defined in Firearms Act 1968, Sections 5(1), (1A).

A firearm certificate or shot gun certificate will not authorise the possession of the following, unless authority has been obtained from the Secretary of State or an exemption applies.

a) Any firearm which is so designed or adapted that two or more missiles can be successively discharged without repeated pressure on the trigger.

b) Any self loading or pump action rifle other than one chambered for .22 rimfire cartridges.

c) Firearms disguised as other objects; walking stick/umbrella guns, pen pistols. See note (1) below.

d) Incendiary or Armour piercing ammunition for military use. See note (1) below.

e) Any missile which is designed, or has been, in any of the above ammunition. See note (1) below.

f) Expanding ammunition chambered for pistols and revolvers only. See note (2) below.

g) Handguns, defined as having a barrel length of less than 30 centimetres or is less than 60 centimetres overall. There are exemptions if it is a trophy of war, of historic interest, used for starting races, humane killing or signaling as well as smooth bore pistols chambered for .410 and 9 millimetre cartridges.


1) There are exemptions in the case of (e) to (g) for holders who have a collector's condition.

2) There is an exemption in the case of (h) for the holder of a firearms certificate with a condition authorising the possession of this type of ammunition.

3) For advice on exemptions please Firearms Contacts.