A young shot holding a shotgun
A young shot holding a shotgun

Young people and firearms

Section 1 firearms – including rifles, muzzle-loading pistols/handguns and certain types of shotguns

Incorporating amendments from the Policing and Crime Act 2017

Under 14 years of age

No one under the age of 14 may use a Section 1 firearm, except for target shooting as a member of a Home Office approved rifle club, or at a shooting gallery where no rifles larger than .23 inch calibre are used (eg. at fairs).

14-17 years of age

At the age of 14 a person may hold a firearm certificate and may then be given firearms and ammunition within the conditions on the certificate.

The law does not set a minimum age at which the holder of a firearm certificate may shoot without adult supervision. That is left to the discretion of the parent or guardian.

18 years and over

On reaching the age of 18, the holder of a firearm certificate may hire or purchase firearms and ammunition in accordance with the conditions on that certificate.

Borrowing rifles on private premises

Section 11A of the Firearms Act 1968 now outlines the new rifle lending provisions.

For full details on how to comply with the law, read more about borrowing rifles.

Got a question? Email us on firearms@basc.org.uk or call 01244 573 010.

© BASC June 2023