A reader needs to know whether to get his young son his own shotgun certificate. Peter Glenser replies

Q:  I would like to buy my son his first shotgun as a birthday present when he turns 14 this summer. Can he have his own shotgun certificate or is it best to put it on mine?

A: Whilst I would suggest it should be on yours as well he can certainly have his own shotgun certificate. There is no minimum age at which a young person may obtain a shotgun certificate and young Guns need them to be able to borrow shotguns when under the age of 15. Whilst this age group must be supervised at all times by a 21-year-old or over, there are times when the lending certificate holder cannot be immediately present and the youngster is placed with a suitable person aged over 21.

There are two ways for a person under 15 to borrow a gun; firstly for 72 hours according to certificate instructions (i.e. 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).

Apply for a shotgun certificate early!

He may not purchase, hire or be given a shotgun or ammunition. He 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. From the age of 15 a shotgun may be given to the young person and used on private premises without supervision, a certificate is required to facilitate this. Given the length of time some forces are taking to process shotgun applications depending on where you live you might well be advised to get him to apply as early as possible. He may not actually receive it until he is 15!