Shotgun Certificate

While many people may assume that guns are practically illegal in the UK, there is actually a legal process in place in acquiring an authorised shotgun. Members of the public may own shotguns, subject to obtaining the appropriate permit, this is in the form of a shotgun certificate.

LICENCE Name

Shotgun Certificate

AUTHORITY

Local Police

TIME TO GET LICENCED 4 weeks
COST £79.50
VALID FOR 5 years
ELIGIBILITY 18+ years
STEPS TO GET LICENSED
1

Police Checks

Criminal record check
Property inspection
GP report
2

Application for Shotgun Certificate

Applications to be made via the firearms licensing unit of your local police force.
Get Licenced

Find Your Course

What is a shotgun certificate?

To legally obtain a shotgun in the UK you will need a shotgun certificate.

Permission to possess or to purchase a shotgun in the UK can only be granted to an individual after they have been assessed by their local police force and passed the necessary checks.

NOTE – Once authorised, your shotgun must not hold more than three shotgun shells, including shells in the chamber if your shotgun is pump-action or semiautomatic.

How do the police decide who can own a firearm?

As part of your application for a shotgun certificate, the firearms licensing unit of your local police force will conduct a number of checks.

Some of these checks will include, a criminal record check, property inspection, and a full report from a GP to evaluate the mental health and wellbeing of the applicant.

A shotgun certificate cannot be granted unless police are satisfied both that the applicant has a good reason to own the firearm and that they do not pose a threat to public safety.

How to apply for a shotgun certificate

Shotgun certificate applications must be made via the firearms licensing unit of your local police force. You can find the contact details for your local police force at the Official UK Government Website.

FAQs

No. The UK did ban the use of handguns in 1997, but citizens are still able to own and use some shotguns and rifles with the appropriate firearms certificate.
Yes. Organisations such as shooting clubs and firearms sellers must also apply for the relevant firearm certificates where necessary.
A shotgun certificate usually lasts 5 years from the date it was issued or renewed.
No. If you are travelling in Europe with your firearms then you must have a European Firearms Pass. You can apply for this at the same time as your shotgun certificate via your police force.