Scales of Justice

Have a query about UK gun laws? Wondering how to get your shotgun licence or firearms certificate? How to store your gun and how to transport it? What happens if you have been in ill-health?

Here are the answers to these questions and many more concerning gun ownership.

Frequent updates

The laws on gun ownership change frequently, with debates by MPs on the subjects regularly in the news. We keep you updated with what is going on here, with all you need to know as a responsible and safe shooter.

Our experts have written many different articles on gun law, with regular updates when legislation changes. Browse through the topics here to find the answers you are looking for. If you have a question on a particular aspect of gun law then get in touch by e mailing us at and we will do what we can to help.

You might also like to visit our general legal section, which covers a variety of issues.

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Storing guns: advice from the police

“Many people don’t realise that the law does not actually require you have a purpose-made firearms cabinet,” said Dave Mathias, Explosive Liaison Officer with the Devon and Cornwall Police. “It just says that all reasonable measures must be taken to ensure their safe keeping. We do have to take a…

firearms certificate moving house

Moving house and your gun certificates – what you need to know

It is a criminal offence not to obey the conditions on your firearm or shotgun certificate. One of which particularly concerns moving house. Condition 3 on every firearm and shotgun certificate says: “The holder of this certificate must, without undue delay, inform the chief officer of police by whom the…

shotgun certificate renewal

Worried about my shotgun certificate renewal

I am applying for a new shotgun licence and when the policeman came to visit he did not even bother to look at my gun safe. Before he left, he said he had to take my old licence with him. When I said I needed it, he said he would…

gun security in your car

Gun security in your car – your responsibilities

The shooting season is now well underway and so I think that a timely reminder about gun security in your car would not go amiss. I’m told by my colleague, Detective Chief Superintendent Jo Chilton of the National Ballistic Intelligence Service, that there have been targeted thefts of shotguns in the North West. Certificate holders are…

Use of airguns in England and Wales under review

The Government is being urged not to introduce additional legislation restricting the use of airguns in England and Wales, which is under review after a child was wounded in Bristol. The Countryside Alliance (CA) said that though it is right that gun laws should be revisited when tragedies occur, “we…

shooting tweeds

When you need written authority for gun loans

Q: I have noted with pleasure recent changes in the law over borrowing shotguns. I allow a local pigeon shooter to shoot over my farm, and he would like to bring his 16-year-old son with him and lend him his gun for use under supervision. I am quite happy with…

gun lending rules

Gun lending rules

Q: When a person lends a shotgun to a non-certificate holder on 
a private shoot, must the gun be 
on their certificate? Loans of shotguns and gun lending on private premises is now regulated by 
the Policing and Crime Act 2017. Section 130 of the act merely states: “A person…

woman with pheasant on shoot

The Code of Good Shooting Practice – why you should read it again

If you’re a responsible shooter, then you need to know the standards the shooting code sets … The Code of Good Shooting Practice — a summary Shooting behaviour: individuals must observe safety, the law and respect for quarry and other wildlife. Responsible shooting: Guns must shoot within their capabilities; shoots…

Should our police be armed?

When you’re up against today’s breed of religious nutter, who’d want a job as a tactical cop in a firearms response team? Slotting an escaped bullock or a gun-wielding loner in a quiet country lane is one thing; dropping a knife crazed fanatic in a crowded city street, something entirely different.…

Man shooting semi auto

A victory for common sense over EU gun laws

These proposals have been under consideration and ongoing debate for more than two years and originally included changes criticised as unnecessarily restrictive. Plans to tighten European gun laws were made following the shootings at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris in January 2015, but were brought forward by the European…

shotgun barrel

Can I break my gun down into parts to store it?

Q: I need to buy a gun safe for my house, but I don’t have room for a full-size cabinet. I will therefore need to break my gun down into its parts to store it. Will this cause any problems with the gun? A: None whatsoever. Shotguns are designed to be broken…

Vintage luggage

8 key things you need to know before you take a gun abroad

A: Firstly congratulations. It’s on my bucket list. I very much like the idea of enjoying a little early sunshine, shooting and eating a little jamon Ibérico washed down with some manzanilla. Let us know how you get on. If you are going with a sporting agent they will normally make all the necessary arrangements to take a gun…

shotgun in car

Can I keep a shotgun in my mum’s house?

David says: You need to raise the matter with your licensing department. Somehow I don’t think they’d be happy with such an arrangement. Personally I wouldn’t be too worried about transporting your gun to and from Devon provided you take the standard precautions when the gun is in the car. Another possibility would be for your Mum to get…

pile of paper

Firearms licensing in the Thames Valley

“What we know from experience is that widespread use of these [Section 7 permits] places an additional administrative demand on the Licensing Department which far from resolving the problem for our licence holders ultimately exacerbates it.” That’s from a letter sent to me by Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) Andy Taylor, writing with the advice of the licensing manager Zoey Evans, in February…

shooting at dusk

Is it legal for me and my friends to swap guns?

Peter Glenser replies: A: In short, yes absolutely. Assuming you both have valid shotgun certificates there is no reason at all why you shouldn’t do as you ask. The law allows a certificate holder to borrow a shotgun from another certificate holder for up to 72 hours without needing to…

deerstalkers with deer

Lords pass “very helpful” changes to firearms laws

Shooting organisations have welcomed two improvements to firearms law passed last week by the House of Lords and adopted by the Government as amendments to the Policing and Crime Bill. The first of these changes permits an eight-week extension to the life of a firearms certificate so long as renewal documents were submitted eight weeks ahead of its expiry date.…