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Registering as a Firearms Dealer

All persons engaged by way of trade or business in the manufacture, sale or transfer of firearms or ammunition to which section 1 of the 1968 Act (as amended) applies, or shotguns, must be registered as a firearms dealer.

Computer Screen 3 blueThis requirement also includes those persons engaged in the repair, test or proving of such firearms or ammunition.

A registered firearms dealer is exempt from requiring a firearm or shotgun certificate by virtue of Section 8 (1) of the 1968 Act, which covers his purchase, acquisition or possession of firearms and ammunition, in the ordinary course of the dealer's business anywhere in Great Britain . It extends to the dealer and his servants.

However, a firearms dealer may not have a firearm, shotgun or ammunition in his possession, for his own personal use, unless he holds a firearm or shotgun certificate authorising him to do so.

An application to become a registered firearms dealer must be made to the Chief Officer of Police for the area where the place of business is situated. It must be made on form 116 [31KB]  and the applicant must provide the prescribed particulars. There is a fee payable.

A firearms dealer, who is already registered, wishing to open an additional place of business within the same police area must apply on form 116a [26KB]  providing the prescribed particulars.

Where a dealer has a place of business in more than one police area, he must apply for registration to the Chief Officer of Police for each area.

Firearms dealers wishing to carry on business, including exhibiting for the purpose of his business, at game fairs or exhibitions in another police area, should apply for registration with the Chief Officer of Police for that area. There is an additional fee payable.

Once issued, a dealers certificate of registration continues in force for a period of three years from the grant of the certificate of registration. Section 33 (5) of the Act, as amended, provides for a registered dealer to surrender his certificate to the Chief Officer of Police, on or before the expiration of this period and to apply for a new certificate using the prescribed form 116.

It should be noted that those dealers wishing to manufacture, sell, transfer, purchase, acquire, or possess prohibited weapons as defined by section 5 of the Act, as amended (see prohibited weapons), must apply separately to The Secretary of State at The Home Office.