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shotgun license

How to apply for your shotgun certificate

This is a little helping hand for those who are looking to apply for their first shotgun certificate or to apply for a renewal. Here is everything you need to know to help you understand the process from start to finish.

Everyone who owns a shotgun must be in possession of a shotgun certificate. If you are new to the sport and are looking to purchase your own shotgun then try and get a head start by applying for your license nice and early to avoid any delay. Application for a shotgun license may take months as they are notoriously long to process.

Don’t forget that you will need to show your certificate to any gun shop should you wish to purchase any ammunition at any time. Try not to procrastinate the application of your renewal. Get ahead of the game and send it in in good time and you don’t want the other to expire in the meantime.

How to apply for your Shotgun License

Applying for your first shotgun certificate is easy and straight forward by requesting an application form from the shotgun licensing department of your local constabulary. It is just one piece of paper to fill in and once submitted you will be notified regularly.

As part of the application process, the police need to be sure that the applicant possesses a shotgun without being a danger to the public or the peace. This means that the police will run checks on any previous convictions.

When completing the paperwork it is important that you are accurate and truthful in completing all aspects of the application form. There are mental and physical health questions of which you must answer correctly and honestly and declare any conditions you suffer with which will affect the ability in which you can operate a shotgun safely.

Double-check your form before sending

There is quite a lot that needs to be checked and many aspects of the form are very detailed. You must notify them of where you wish to store your firearm, and they may wish to take a look at the proposed cabinet you’re using and check suitability and safety when they make a visit.

You will also have to have part of the license filled in by a countersignatory who has personally known you for at least two years. This person cannot be related to you in any way nor a registered firearms dealer, policeman, or police civilian employee. They should be honest and responsible for their reputation. Remember that along with the paperwork you must include 4 passport photos of yourself in which the countersignatory must sign the back of just one.

Once this is all signed and completed make sure everything is correct before sending. When you return the completed forms to the firearms licensing department of your local constabulary don’t forget to include the fee of £79.50 if you are after a new license or £49 for the renewal. Make sure to send it recorded delivery so that you can track it and also proof of postage. Do not send away your existing certificate with the renewal application as you will need this should you wish to purchase any ammunition or a new gun.

Final steps

Once your application passes the first stage a police officer will arrange with you to make a visit to your home to have a chat. They will have an in depth talk regarding why you want a shotgun license and where you intend to shoot with it. If the police officer is satisfied with what he sees and hears then it will be reported to the Chief Officer of Police and your shotgun will be granted. If everything was satisfactory then the certificate will be posted to you.


If you have any more questions, let us know below. If you would like to speak to our shooting manager, Peter Collingsworth, you can contact him via email at or by calling him directly at 01603 407596.

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