Is your shotgun certificate close to expiring? Here's what you need to know about renewing it.

    1. Get your renewal application in at least 12 weeks before your certificate is due to expire. Do not wait for a police reminder letter (you may not receive one anyway, depending on where you live).
    2. You can download a firearm/shotgun certificate renewal form here. 
    3. On the renewal form you must give details of any convictions. This includes motoring offences (including speeding offences), bindovers, formal written cautions and convictions in and outside Great Britain. However parking offences and fixed penalty notices do not need to be declared.
    4. It may speed up your renewal application if you include a photocopy of your existing certificates. You do not need to return the expiring certificates.
    5. Your renewal form will need to be countersigned. The countersignatory should be an MP, JP, Minister of Religion, doctor, lawyer, established civil servant, bank officer or person of similar standing who has known you personally for at least two years.
    6. If you possess a shotgun or rifle it is advisable to belong to one of the shooting organisations (like BASC).  They offer good specialist advice and can put you in touch with an expert in firearms law should you have any problems renewing your shotgun certificate.
    7. Keep your original certificates with you whilst waiting to receive the renewals. You will need them to buy ammunition and prove lawful possession of your guns. 
    8. You can use a digital photograph if you are applying online. Paper applications must be accompanied by one photograph.
    9. If your certificate expires before you receive a valid replacement, you should ask for a temporary permit, issued under Section 7 of the Firearms Act 1968. It should be granted in the event of an administrative delay.
    10. A shotgun certificate renewal is currently £49
    11. Always post your renewal applications by recorded delivery.
    12. You will need to answer questions about your health honestly on your renewal and must notify police of medical conditions relating to any drug and/or alcohol use, epilepsy, depression, disability as well as nervous or mental issues.
    13. It is better to mention an illness than leave it off the form. Those who actively seek help to manage their condition are likely to be looked on more positively.
    14. Ticking the ‘yes’ box WILL lead to a letter being written to your GP seeking more information.
    15. If the doctor’s report shows the applicant is taking the correct medication and that there are no serious issues then a certificate should be granted or renewed.