Unless your chief constable considers your sons cannot be permitted to possess a shotgun without danger to the public safety or the peace, they should all be granted certificates.

There are no lower age limits which of themselves prevent young persons having shotgun certificates, and their applications turn on whether they may possess guns safely.

However, the law treats youngsters of various ages differently.

It is an offence for anyone under the age of 17 to buy or hire a firearm, including an airgun.

Between 15 and 17 years old, a youngster may be in possession of a shotgun, even though he or she may not buy or hire one.

Under the age of 15, a youngster can only be in possession of a shotgun if supervised by an adult aged 21 or over or if the gun is covered with a securely fastened gun cover to prevent it being fired.