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Applying for a firearm/shotgun certificate

For visitor’s firearm & shotgun permits click here.

Renewals: To help renew your certificates in time we recommend that you get your renewal applications to the police at least twelve weeks before the expiry of your certificate. Should you receive a police renewal reminder letter prior to twelve weeks, you should adhere to the guidance in the letter to obtain your renewal. For full details click here.

NEW firearms licensing medical process from 1st April 2016

The Home Office has announced changes to the application process for firearm and shotgun certificates so that information sharing between GPs and police is improved. The move is in response to recommendations for change to the current system submitted by Coroners, the IPCC and the medical profession.

As of the 1st April 2016 application forms will change. Applicants will be advised that the police will not only contact their GP as they do now asking whether they know of any relevant medical condition or have concerns about the issue of a firearm or shotgun certificate, but will also ask GPs to place an encoded reminder onto the applicant’s patient record. During the validity of the firearm or shotgun certificate, the presence of the encoded reminder will enable the GP to consider notifying the police if a person’s medical health gives rise to concern regarding their possession of firearms. Upon cancellation of the certificate, for whatever reason, the police will send notification to the GP and the encoded reminder will be inactivated.

The scheme is the result of 3 years hard work by a Home Office working group made up of representatives of the police, the medical profession, the Information Commissioner’s Office and shooting organisations, BASC being at the forefront. Initially, consideration was given to the introduction of compulsory scheme whereby every applicant had to complete a self-declaration medical form and submit it to their GP together with a relevant fee. The GP in turn was expected to amend or corroborate the information, place an encoded reminder on the patient record, and forward the form to the police. BASC fiercely resisted this proposal as being wholly disproportionate.

BASC has been instrumental in developing the new process. We have worked hard in supporting Essex Police who ran a pilot of the scheme. This produced meaningful data to the working group. It showed that GPs needed to be consulted in fewer than 2% of applications proving without doubt that there was no case for a move towards mandatory medical testing of all applicants.

The introduction of the encoded reminder onto medical records adds a dynamic component to existing police monitoring systems and supports BASC’s case for the introduction of 10 year certificates.

For full details see the following Home Office fact sheet and BASC Frequently asked questions guide;

Click here for the British Medical Association advice to GP’s

Downloadable Firearms Forms

Other useful documents

Explosives licensing forms

Form ER4a is for individuals wishing to use black powder in their own firearms or shotguns, or for historic re-enactment events.

  • Use this form for an ‘acquire only’ or an ‘acquire and keep’ certificate for black powder.
  • Not applicable to clubs, societies, or organisations or for any explosive other than black powder.

Form ER4 is for companies, clubs and societies, powder masters or users.

Not applicable for personally held firearms and shotguns, or historic re-enactment when using black powder only.

ER4b is similar to old form COER1A but should be used when renewing an explosives certificate at the same time as a firearm or shotgun certificate.

Firearms Dealers forms

Home Office forms

Fees for certificates in England, Wales and Scotland

Visitors’ permit​

Certificate type Grant or renewal of certificate Total fee payable
Firearm certificate Grant £88
Firearm certificate Renewal £62
Shot gun certificate Grant £79.50
Shot gun certificate Renewal £49
Registered firearms dealer Grant / renewal £200
Extension for registered firearms dealers – game fair/trade events Valid for up to 3 years for the same event held at the same site £13
Visitors’ permit Individual £20
Visitors’ permit Group (six or more permits) £100
Co-terminous certificates Grant of both shotgun and firearm certificates £90*
Co-terminous certificates Grant of a shotgun certificate /renewal of firearm certificate £90*
Co-terminous certificates Renewal of a shotgun certificate /grant of a firearm certificate £90*
Co-terminous certificates Renewal of both shotgun and firearm certificates  £65
Replacement certificate (Note: If lost a charge is made – replacement is free for a dilapidated certificate)  £4
Variation (not one for one) – applicable only to firearm
Home Office approval for target shooting clubs/schools Grant or renewal – valid for 6 years £84
Museums firearm licence Free
Prohibited weapons authority (Note: this relates to trade or professionals only where they are registered as a firearms dealers) Free

* A coterminous certificate is merely a means of issuing both firearm and shotgun certificates where an applicant requires both (to expire at the same time) at a cheaper cost to the applicant and also at a reduced administration to the police force. If an applicant holds or requires both firearm and shotgun certificates he can request coterminous certificates by using Form 201 and enclosing the £90 fee. The £90 fee is standard regardless of whether you already hold a certificate or none at all.

Fees for certificates in Northern Ireland

For full details of new fees (2016), firearms guidance and forms click here

Firearm Certificate – Grant £98
Firearm Certificate – Variation £30
Firearm Certificate variation to substitute one firearm for another of the same calibre or type (known as a one for one variation) £15
Replacement Firearm certificate/dealers certificate (e.g. where your certificate has been lost completely. Dilapidated certificates are replaced for Free) £14
Firearms Dealer £300
Visitors Permit (1 to 5 people) £16 per person
Visitors Permit (6 to 20 people) £80 for the group
Firearms Club authorisation (grant or renewal – valid for 5 years) £71
Museum firearms licence £110
Extension of a museum firearms licence to additional premises £75

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