I’m sorry to disappoint you but you are not allowed to buy a shotgun yourself until you reach the age of 17 years.

However, at 15 it is lawful for someone (usually your Dad) to give or lend you a gun. The person who gives you the gun must themselves have a shotgun certificate in order to be able to buy it and they then transfer it to you in the usual manner.

If your Dad already has a cabinet and there is space in it for another gun you don’t need to get one yourself, provided all the guns are on both certificates.

If nobody else in your house has a shotgun certificate the police will want to know about security in some detail.

My advice is to send in your application and then discuss these matters with the Firearms Enquiry Officer when he comes to call. Your Mum or Dad should be present when the FEO visits. Please note that a FEO will always make an appointment – they never call without doing so.

Police forces vary in the length of time they take to go through the administrative process so don’t be surprised if it takes longer than you would like it to.

Most police forces have a web site which gives information about the process and timings for the grant and renewal of certificates.