Applicants for both shotgun and firearm certificates will be able to use a single form which will cover grants and renewals. There will be a short separate form for variations to a firearm certificate, which enable applicants to apply for different types of firearm. Firearm certificate holders will continue to be limited in the maximum amount of ammunition which they can legally possess. However, restrictions have been removed on how much ammunition can be bought at one time, provided maximum allowances are not exceeded.
The requirement for shotgun certificate applicants to provide a countersignatory from a limited range of professionally qualified people has been replaced with a simpler referee requirement. The referee may now be drawn from a wider pool. The police will then follow up the application with the normal background and security checks.
BASC’s senior firearms officer Mike Eveleigh said: “BASC has been working with the Home Office and the police for some time to modernise the initial application process. A sample of BASC members tested several variants of the new forms which helped greatly. The UK has some of the toughest gun laws in the world. Those laws must do two things; protect public safety and also allow the continued lawful use of firearms. These changes will remove several layers of unnecessary bureaucracy and make the initial form-filling simpler and easier to understand.”
The new forms will be introduced by police forces from the 1st December. Copies and advice on completing them can be found here.