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Young people and shotguns
Young people of any age can apply for and be granted a shotgun certificate, but you cannot buy or hire a shotgun or ammunition until you are 18.
If you wish to use a shotgun and do not have a certificate you may only do so in the following circumstances:
- Borrowing a shotgun on private premises under the auspices of Section 11A of the Firearms Act 1968
- Shooting at a police-approved clay shooting layout under the auspices of Section 11(6) of the Firearms Act 1968.
15-17 years of age
Between 15 and 17, with a certificate, you may be given or lent a shotgun (and cartridges) for up to 72 hours by another certificate holder and use them on private premises without supervision.
Making a gift of a shotgun requires an adult (18 or older) to follow the instructions on his/her shotgun certificate. In practice this means conducting a full transfer of the shotgun by making an entry in table two of the young recipient’s certificate stating the word “gift” in the relevant box.
Both the person giving and receiving the shotgun must then inform their own police licensing departments of the transaction within seven days by recorded delivery or by email to the email address designated by the issuing authority.
Once you have been gifted a shotgun you may also lend your shotgun to other certificate holders for up to 72 hours without the need for a written transfer to be made.
If you have to lend your shotgun for longer than 72 hours you must make an entry into table two of the borrower’s certificate. Both the person transferring and receiving the shotgun must then inform their own police licensing departments of the transaction within seven days by recorded delivery or by email to the email address designated by the issuing authority.
When the shotgun is returned to you, the same process applies but in reverse.
Under 15 years if age
In this age group if you hold a certificate you are only allowed to borrow a shotgun. There are two ways to do so; firstly for 72 hours according to certificate instructions (ie. without completing any written transfer or notification to police); and secondly, by written transfer by the lender onto table 2 of the recipients certificate and a notification to police by both parties (as per certificate instructions). You may not purchase, hire, or be gifted a shotgun or ammunition.
Additionally, in all circumstances you may only possess an assembled shotgun when supervised by an adult aged 21 or over, or if the gun is in a securely fastened gun cover so that it cannot be fired.
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© BASC June 2023 January 2017