A reader is looking after a friend's guns while he moves house and wonders how to handle the legalities of this. Graham Downing advises.

Q: A friend of mine is moving house and wants me to look after his shotguns until his new property is ready for him and he can put them away safely in his newly installed gun cabinet there. He isn’t keen to put them in the care of the local gunshop.

I’m just wondering about the legalities of this shotgun transfer. I know that I can keep them for 72 hours without informing the local police force but his move will take longer than this. He will be in the local area and he wants to go shooting in the meantime and so will need to be able to collect his shotgun from my house. Can you advise on what we should do to stay within the law?  

How to carry out a shotgun transfer

Shooting consultant and sporting author, Graham Downing advises: “There is no difficulty here with shotgun transfer, provided both you and your friend are current shotgun certificate holders. Simply ask your friend to transfer his shotguns to you. Enter them on Table 2 of your certificate (“shotguns transferred”) and at column B state “lent”. Make sure he enters his certificate details at column E and signs at column F.

shotgun transfer certificate

Ask your friend to transfer his guns to you by filling in this part of your shotgun certificate

“Both you and your friend must each notify the police licensing department that issued your certificate within seven days of the transfer. This may be done by letter or by email. Once the transfer is completed, you may then keep the guns indefinitely until such time as your friend wants them back. Bear in mind that while they are in your possession, you will be responsible for safe storage of the guns, just as you are for your own.”

How can I get a transfer licence to buy a shotgun from Spain?

Q: I am trying to buy a second-hand shotgun from a private seller in Barcelona, Spain. I have found out that I only need my shotgun certificate and a transfer licence to bring it back into the UK. Unfortunately I’m having problems finding out where to get the transfer licence.

I know it has to be issued in the country I am buying the gun from (Spain) and I have a relative living in Barcelona who will go and get it. I just don’t know who is responsible for its issue. Can you please help?

A: Contact the Spanish Embassy in London and ask them for advice. It’s also worth taking a look at the website of the Ministry of the Interior and Fecaza, the main Spanish shooting organisation.