Information On Legally Owning Firearms In The UK

Britons - spread this everywhere!

-(1a) Maintenance and Updates
-(1b) What is this Guide for?
-(1c) Why Would I get Separate Licenses?
-(1d) What about Northern Ireland and Crown Dependencies?
(3)The FAC/SGC Checklist
-(3a) A “Good Reason” to own a Firearm (Section 1 Only)
-(3b) The Referees
-(3c) Criminal Record Check
-(3d) Health Check
-(3e) A Passport Picture
-(3f) Safe Check
-(3g) The FEO Inspection
(4) Licenses
-(4a) Licenses and Their Costs
-(4b) What Can I Own with a Firearms Certificate/Shotgun Certificate
-(4c) The Current Status of the Offensive Weapons Bill of 2017/2019
(5) Application Process
-(5a) The Application Forms
-(5b) Application Submission
-(5c) How Long will the Application Take to Process?
-(5d) Congratulations
(6) How to Buy a Gun
-(6a) Section 1 Purchases
-(6b) Section 2 Purchases
(7) Additional Resources
-(7a) YouTube Channels
-(7b) Firearm Associations
-(7c) Firearm Communities
-(7d) Local Club Finder
-(7e) Recommended Places from Anons
-(7f) Firearm Infographics and Miscellaneous Information
-(7g) Online Dealers
-(7h) Brit/k/ and Brit/pol/ Pastes
-(7i) Contact


(1a) Maintenance and Updates
The current maintainer of this guide is Gun Anon, Currently under the Trip !!s7J7HDaDFkk
And previously under the Trip !!ETpQwM6ksCW
This Trip should only be used when an update is posted - If in doubt of if you are currently reading the most recent version of this guide refer to either the archive here:

Post 31/10/2018

Pre 31/10/2018

(1b) What is this Guide for?
This guide is for those who wish to own firearms within Great Britain in the most comprehensive and digestible guide possible. Formerly for Target shooters only this guide will attempt to expand into all sectors of the British shooting world where possible.

(1c) Why Would I get Separate Licenses?
As to why a person wishes to get each certificate separately varies from person to person, however, if you are eager to get yourself or others into the world of shooting a Shotgun License is the simplest way to go as it does not require a “good reason” as Section 1 Firearm Certificate Firearms require, however you still need to explain as to why you want to take up shooting to satisfy the police and meet the other checks on the Checklist.

The simplest way to do this is to find a club near you using either the CPSA website or google, visit and familiarise yourself with it. No membership/probation of these clubs are required to reiterate you just need to explain why you want to take up shooting for Section 2 Shotgun Certificates.

Additionally with Section 2 Firearms you are only limited to the capacity of your safe, rather than the amount of Authorized Firearm slots of your Firearms Certificate. Meaning you can purchase as many Section 2 Firearms as your safe can store.

(1d) What about Northern Ireland and Crown Dependencies?
Northern Ireland and the Crown Dependencies while not a primary focus, will not be completely excluded in this guide, primarily due to the fact that Firearm Legislation for Northern Ireland is dictated under “The Firearms (Northern Ireland) Order 2004” and the Crown Dependencies having their own Legislation on the matter

To Promote the Discussion of and the Encouragement of legally owned possession of firearms within Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Remember Only by getting more people into owning firearms will we ever have a chance at improving our laws.

(3)—The FAC/SGC Checklist—
Before one applies for a Firearm/Shotgun Certificate there are 5/6 checks that need to be met before one should send their application form to own Firearms.
1.Good Reason for owning a firearm - (Section 1 Only)
2.One/Two Referee(s) that will support your application
3.Do not have a Serious Criminal Record
4.Ensure that you are of sound mind (Will not harm yourself or others)
5.A Secure Place to Store a Firearm.
6.A Passport sized Picture of You

(3a) A “Good Reason” to own a Firearm (Applies to Section 1 Only)
To own a Section 1 Firearm you must have a reason for owning said firearm, to which there are three main reasons on the mainland and a fourth reason for Northern Ireland.
2.Vermin Control
3.Target Shooting
4.Self Defence (Northern Ireland Only)

For each, proof must be acquired and verified, in short:
To acquire an FAC for Target Shooting one must become a full member of a Gun Club and for Vermin Control and Hunting Game the land must be assessed and/or permission must be granted by the owner of such land must be given to the police to be verified.

Most Local Clubs will be listed here.

Each option gives a large amount of calibres to choose from, however you will be limited to either the club’s capabilities or the appropriate calibres for the Size of Game (If Hunting) or Vermin, for instance 22lr would be an appropriate calibre for Small Game Hunting as you will not require a .338 Lapua rifle for shooting rabbits into red mist, However you may require .243 to .45-70 expanding ammunition for Medium Game Hunting to ensure a clean and humane kill.
Alternatively you will not be able to request a 50. cal Rifle slot if the club does not the adequate capabilities for it.

(3b) The Referees
1 Referee is required in the application of a Shotgun Certificate (SGC)
2 Referees are required for a Firearms Certificate and a Coterminous Certificate.

A referee must have known the applicant personally for at least two years, a referee may be of any background or occupation and a referee must be of good character, and someone whom the police may trust to give honest replies to any queries which the police may make of them regarding the applicant.

Members of the applicant’s family may not act as referees. Cousins are not regarded as immediate family, but cohabiting or civil partners or partner’s in a same sex marriage should be considered as ‘family’ for these purposes and should not be accepted. Serving police officers, police support staff, or registered firearms dealers may not act as referees

(3c) Criminal Record Check
One the main questions on the FAC/SGC asks whether you have ever been convicted of any offense at any time.

You Must not Withhold information about any conviction, no matter how long ago it was.
(This is including speeding offences), bind-overs, formal written cautions and convictions in and outside of Great Britain, and (by virtue of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975) convictions which are spent under the 1974 Act.
A conditional discharge and an absolute discharge both count as convictions for this purpose. Details of parking offences and fixed penalty notices do not need to be declared.

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does NOT apply when applying for an FAC and the police DO check thoroughly. Previous convictions do not always necessarily mean refusal to grant an FAC, but if you do not declare an offense and it is revealed by the police checks, then you will certainly be refused and will also be looking at a prosecution for having made a false declaration to obtain an FAC.

(3d) Health Check
You must disclose any relevant physical or mental health conditions that you have been diagnosed with or treated for in the past as this may affect your ability to safely possess and use a firearm or shotgun.
The Relevant medical conditions which must be disclosed are

  • Acute Stress Reaction or an acute reaction to the stress caused by a trauma
  • Suicidal thoughts or self harm
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Dementia
  • Mania, bipolar disorder or a psychotic illness
  • A personality disorder
  • A neurological condition: for example, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s or Huntington’s diseases, or epilepsy
  • Alcohol or drug abuse (Eddie)
  • Any other mental or physical condition which might affect your safe possession of a firearm or shotgun

It is also best to disclose conditions such as Autism and other potential conditions that may be deemed relevant.
If in doubt, consult your GP or contact the police firearms licensing department.

All applications are looked at on their own merit, with the main priority of these checks are ensuring that you pose no harm to yourself or others.

Read Below on GP Procedure otherwise skip to the next subsection

If you have disclosed a relevant medical condition the police may ask you to obtain a medical report from your GP/specialist. You are expected to meet the cost if a fee is charged for this. If further information is required the police may request and pay for a further report.

Where no relevant medical conditions are disclosed the police will contact your GP asking if they are aware of any relevant medical conditions or have any concerns about the grant of the firearm or shotgun certificate. As above the police may request and pay for a further report.

After which the police will ask your GP to place a reminder on your patient record to indicate that you have been issued with a firearm or shotgun certificate.

The GP is asked to notify the police if, following issue of the certificate, you are diagnosed with or treated for a relevant medical condition previously noted, or if the GP has other concerns about your possession of a certificate that might affect your safe possession of firearms following contact from your GP there may be a need for a medical report to be obtained to assist with assessment of your continued suitability to possess a firearm or shotgun certificate. The police will pay if a medical report is required.

(3e) A Passport Picture
For the application process you require a digital photograph for your license, it must be used for online applications. Paper applications must be accompanied by one photograph. Ordinary passport-style photographs (45mm high x 35mm wide) are suitable for this purpose.

Photographs must be of a professional standard against a plain cream or grey background and without other objects or people in the background and (if printed) must be on good quality gloss or matt paper.

The photograph must be a true likeness and full face without a head covering (unless it is worn for religious or medical reasons). In your photograph you must be looking straight at the camera, have a neutral expression, with your eyes open and mouth closed. You must not wear sunglasses or tinted glasses, and the photographs must not have any ‘red eye.’
One of these photographs must also be signed.

(3f) Safe Check
Firearm Storage under the law orders that Firearms must be stored securely at all times (except for when they are in use) to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, access to the guns by “unauthorised persons”. Briefly put the government recommends that you store them in a locked gun cabinet or other similarly secure container bolted to a solid and secure wall.

Ammunition for section 1 firearms should be kept secure and separate from the firearm. Although secure storage of shotgun cartridges is not a requirement of the Firearms Acts, it is recommended that they should be locked away separately for security.

For Additional Information Consult the Police or the Home Office’s 2005 Firearms Security Guide
Found Here

If in doubt please contact your local police constabulary if you want guidance.

Also remember that capacity described by the manufacturer is indicative, only usually for marketing purposes. The stated capacity of a cabinet can be doubled in reality, especially if it is installed lying down. Some owners even rip out the foam padding within a safe for more storage space.

(3g) The FEO Inspection
For First time applicants a home visit is a ways carried out. This should include an interview which will revolve around questions surrounding firearm safety, safe etiquette (keys), where you intend to shoot and why, as well as a recap on your firearm slot(s) and requested amounts of ammunition (500 rounds is the standard for Target, 250 for Hunting) and consideration of your security arrangements.

At renewal a risk-based assessment may indicate the need for another interview with the applicant or further enquiries about security arrangements.

These enquiries may be done over the telephone or by email rather than by home visit, in accordance with the level of the risk assessment. Home visits should always be made by prior appointment and take place at a mutually convenient time.

(4a) Types of Licenses and their Costs
The costs of Applying for a license excluding the cost of external factors (Club Costs, Medical Record costs) goes as follows

Firearm Certificates (FAC) (valid for 5 years)
Grant - £88.00
Renewal - £62.00
Variation of a firearm certificate (other than when it is renewed at the same time) so as to increase the number or type of firearms or quantity of ammunition to which the certificate relates. - £20.00
Replacement if lost or destroyed. - £ 4.00

Shotgun Certificates (SGC) (valid for 5 years)
Grant - £79.50
Renewal - £49.00
Replacement if lost or destroyed - £ 4.00

Coterminous Certificate for both Firearms and Shotguns (valid for 5 years)
Grant - £90.00
Renewal - £ 65.00
Replacement - £4.00

Explosives Certificates (necessary for Black-powder shooting, but not needed if using Pyrodex)
Acquire and Keep (valid for up to 5 years) - Free

(4b) What Can I Own with a Firearms Certificate/Shotgun Certificate?
Keys: BL = Barrel Length
OAL = Overall Length
2+1 = 2 in the Magazine 1 in the chamber

On Overall Length - When measuring the length of a firearm if said firearm has any detachable, folding, retractable or other movable butt-stock should be disregarded which is why SBRs and Pistols both fit into the Small Firearms category.

Under Section 1 - Firearm Certificates (England, Scotland, Wales)
Bolt Action Rifles
Lever Action Rifles
Lever Release Rifles
Long Barrelled Pistols (.22 Short, .22LR, .22 Magnum)
Long Barrelled Revolvers
Manually Actuated Release System (M.A.R.S Rifles/Semi-Semi Automatic Rifles)
Muzzle Loading Handguns (Requires Explosives Certificate if using Black Powder)
Semi-Automatic Rifles (.22 Short, .22LR, .22 Magnum)
Straight Pull Rifles
Shotguns with over 2+1 Capacity/Detachable Magazines*
a. Semi Automatic and Pump Action Shotguns require no less than 24” BL & 40” OAL
b. Any Other Type of Action Shotgun (e.g. Lever Action) Require no less than 12” BL and 24” OAL

Under Section 1 - Northern Ireland and Crown Dependencies
All of the Above
Short Barrelled Firearms (Pistols and Short Barrelled Rifles No longer than 12" BL and 24" OAL)
Semi-automatic Rifles over 22 Rimfire cartridges (Jersey Only)

Under Section 2 - Shotgun Certificates
Shotguns with a maximum capacity of 2+1 (24” BL and 40” OAL)
Smooth Bore Muskets
Small Cannons

Under Section 5 - Restricted Weapons
Semi-automatics over 22 rimfire
Fully-automatics (Any Firearm Capable)
Short Barrelled Firearms
Most Explosives
Rocket launchers

Under Section 7
Heritage Pistols (England, Scotland and Wales)
Under Section 7.1
Heritage Pistols to be held at home as part of a collection, without ammunition, and allows them to be exhibited (A Normal person can own one or two without it being officially A Collection)
Under Section 7.3
For Shooting Heritage Pistols at Designated Sites

Under Section 58 (2) (No License required)
Antique/Obsolete Calibre Weapons

(4c) The Current Status of the Offensive Weapons Bill of 2017/2019
The Offensive Weapons Bill as it currently stands, the Government has stood down on it’s 50. Calibre ammunition ban, however has not stood down on it’s stance on Lever-Release and M.A.R.S Action Rifles.
However the House of Lords keep amending the OWB to keep M.A.R.S Rifles legal to not discriminate against the disabled.

Current Status: Parliamentary “Ping Pong”
Current Status Found Here:
(5)—Application Process—
(5a) The Application Forms

Form 201: Application for the Grant or Renewal of a Firearm and/or Shotgun Certificate

Form 201V: Application to vary a Firearms Certificate

To Apply for a Firearms Certificate in Northern Ireland

(5b) Application Submission
The receipt for electronic applications, where these are available, will be automatically generated by the system. For hard copy applications, unless advised otherwise by the police, you should post or take the completed form together with the fee and photograph to the police firearms licensing department.

In the case of an application for renewal, a signed and dated recent copy of the certificate to be renewed should be sent to police when you submit your application. If an application is being made for a variation the certificate to be varied must be included with your application. (You may wish to keep a copy of the certificate.)

(5c) How Long will the Application Take to Process?
The time to Process a SGC/FAC is a postcode lottery, to find out how long it will take you approximately for your area I have linked below are the Government’s own findings for years 2014/2015 as well as BASC’s League Table for 2018

BASC Firearms Licensing League Table For 2018:

Government 2014/2015 Statistics

Source: HMIC: An Inspection of the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Firearms Licensing in Police forces in England and Wales (Page 29)

(5d) Congratulations
Congratulations! you should now be in possession of either a Firearm Certificate and/or Shotgun Certificate, Enjoy owning your own firearms.

(6)—How to Buy a Gun—
(6a) Section 1 Purchases
You can purchase the firearms authorised on your certificate, not only from a Registered Firearms Dealer, but also from other Firearm Certificate holders.
The final handing over of the weapon must be in person, and the person transferring the firearm to you, must enter the details on the back of your Firearm Certificate at Table 1.

It is not you that enters the details, but the seller.

Remember, you only write on your own certificate when you sign it

Having acquired your firearm you must, within seven days, inform the police authority that issued your certificate in writing of the transaction. The person transferring the firearm, if a certificate holder, must also inform their issuing authority.

The Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 requires you to notify the Chief Officer of Police who issued your certificate within seven days if you:
-transfer a firearm to any other person including selling it, hiring it out, lending it, or making a gift of it; or
-purchase or acquire a firearm; or
-deactivate a firearm or have it deactivated by someone else; or
-destroy a firearm; lose a firearm; or have one stolen.

Section 33 (3) of The Firearms Amendment Act 1997 requires that such notification shall:
-contain a description of the firearm in question, (giving its identification number if any); and
-state the nature of the transaction and the name and address of the other party
-and any such notice shall be sent by registered post or the recorded delivery service.

These requirements apply even if the matter happened outside Great Britain. However, as a result of changing technology since the introduction of the above section, most Constabulary Firearms Licensing Departments are willing to accept written notification by facsimile and email.

(6b) Section 2 Purchases
There are various ways to acquire shotguns. These include buying or being given one from another certificate holder or Registered Firearms Dealer. If you look on the back of your shotgun certificate you will see “Table 2”. It is this table that must be completed by the person selling/transferring the gun to you.

Similarly, if you sell or transfer one of your shotguns to another certificate holder, you must enter the details of that weapon, into “Table 2”, on the back of the recipient’s certificate.

You do not enter details of the transfer on your own certificate. A good thing to remember is the only time you write on your own certificate is when you sign it.

If you acquire a shotgun from a Registered Firearms Dealer, he will enter the details of the weapon, into “Table 2”, on the back of your certificate.

If you sell or dispose of a shotgun to a Registered Firearms Dealer, he will enter the transaction in his register. There is no writing for you to do, other than: in all cases of acquiring or disposing of a shotgun, you must inform the Police Authority that issued your certificate. The final handover of the weapon must be done in person. It is no longer legal to acquire shotguns by mail order.

As a shotgun certificate holder it is also possible for you to borrow another certificate holder or dealer’s shotgun. However, if the shotgun is to be in your possession for more than 72 hours, the person lending you the weapon must enter the details in “Table 2” stating the appropriate reason in Column B.

The Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 requires you to notify the Chief Officer of Police, within 7 days, who issued your certificate if you:
-Transfer a shotgun to any other person including selling it, hiring it out, lending it for more than 72 hours, or making a gift of it or
-Purchase or acquire a shotgun or
-Deactivate a shotgun or have it deactivated by someone else or
-Destroy a shotgun, lose a shotgun or have one stolen

These requirements apply even if the matter happened outside Great Britain, for which the notifying period is extended to within 14 days.

Email notifications are allowed and are now the preferred method of notice.

(7)—Additional Resources—
(7a) YouTube Channels (The Gun Shop)

(7b) Firearm Associations
—General Associations—
The British Association for Shooting and Conservation

The National Rifle Association
Shooting UK

Clay Pigeon Shooting Association

—Target/Practical Shooting Associations—
Fifty Calibre Shooters Association
United Kingdom Practical Shooting Association
Muzzle Loading Association of Great Britain

—Pro-Firearm Associations—
Firearms UK

(7c)Firearm Communities

(7d) Local Club Finders (Section 1 Clubs) (Section 2 Clubs)

(7e) Recommended Places
If you are new to shooting it is best to contact your local club and ask if it would be possible to come down and meet an experienced shooter or coach for a bit of 1 to 1 shooting. Do not go on one of the party-style shooting events. You will hit nothing and pay way too much money - experienced shooters will be able to offer you advice and stance changes that will have you hitting the target more times than not on your first trip.

—Northern Ireland—
Thatch Clay Target Club (Recommended by /K/ommandobooks)
-For about £10 they will have a 1 to 1 session on the small range to get you used to the firearms and hitting the target repeatedly, from a world class coach. Also contact NTSA to inquire about going to an event to try it out.

(7f) Firearm Infographics and Miscellaneous Information
—Overview Infographics—
Gun Anon’s V1 Infographic

/k/'s 22lr Rifle Guide

Chevrolet’s Shotgun Beginners Chart

Shotgun Gauges Rundown

Shooting UK’s Section 2 Shotgun Purchasing Guide

—Second Hand Guides—

Charles Smith-Jones’ Gunsmith’s guide to buying guns second-hand

Shane Robinson’s What you need to know about buying a gun second-hand

-Recommended Safes-

-FEO’s Perspective of what to look for during a Firearm Inspection-

—Transfer of Firearms—

(7g) Online Dealers
-New Guns-

-Military Surplus/Classic Firearms-

-Slavophile/Soviet Firearms-

-Used Guns-

(7h) Brit/k/ and Brit/pol/ Pastes
OP Images -
New here? Want a firearm license? Read this:

Hunting and Insurance
UK Practical Shooting Association
Gun Club Finder
Section 2 Club Finder

Acquire Firearms

Hunting and Insurance
UK Practical Shooting Association
Gun Club Finder
Section 2 Club Finder

1 Like

Don’t feel too bad. As I recall it’s a 3 year process in South Africa.