I was recently convicted of a non-violent offence and the police have told me it’s unlikely my shotgun certificate will be renewed when it becomes due in three months time.


The firearms people say I should let it lapse because I now have a criminal record, then reapply again in five years time when there’s a good chance it will be re-issued, if I stay out of trouble. What they say makes sense, but I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on this?

Answer: It’s difficult to comment in detail without knowing exactly what the offence was. A criminal record is not an automatic bar to holding a shotgun certificate unless the offence merited a sentence of three months or more. In your case it sounds like a try on by the police.

If the offence was so serious then they should have revoked your certificate at the time the offence was committed or when you were convicted. The fact they did not do so indicates either that they were being negligent or that the offence was relatively minor.

My advice is to apply for renewal and see what happens.

If the police refuse to renew, legally they must tell you why. You can then decide whether to appeal to the Crown (or Sheriff) Court.

Frankly I think you’d have a good case if only on the grounds that the police didn’t regard the matter as sufficiently serious to merit instant revocation and thus have no grounds for refusing to renew. Good luck.

  • william austin

    I would be grateful for some imformation. I am in the process of applying for a firearms certifcate. I am a 32 year old male with a family and in full time employment. When I was younger, I got in troube with Police on a few occasions, thus resulting in a custodial sentence for 3 years 3 months and serving 19 months when I was 18. Prison changed my life for the better and I haven’t been in trouble since this time which was 12 years ago. Would this affect the decision of being granted a firarms permit.

    I look forward to your response.