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Will legal trouble stop my shotgun certificate application?

Will police cautions stand in the way?

Shooting in countryside

Q: I would like to apply for a shotgun certificate but I have a couple of recent cautions. One is from five years ago for criminal damage to my ex-wife’s car. I have always been interested in shooting and used to be a marksman in the army cadets and TA. Now I have more time on my hands and a girlfriend who goes shooting, would I be able to get a certificate?

Legal advice on police cautions and shotgun certificate applications

One or more cautions do not automatically disbar you from getting a shotgun certificate.  However the fact you have misbehaved may cast doubt on your suitability to hold a shotgun certificate.

One of the main things the police have to consider is whether you would present a danger to the public safety or peace. The fact you accepted a caution rather than being taken to court suggests the offences were relatively minor.

I’d be inclined to talk to the  firearms licensing manager at your local police headquarters and ask informally what their attitude might be.

If you get a positive response then you can apply. If not I’d suggest waiting a couple of years and then applying.

It goes without saying that your behaviour in those two years would need to be squeaky clean.

There are various circumstances in which a non-certificate holder can borrow and use a gun and these are open to you since you are not a prohibited person in the eyes of the law.

As a general principle nobody should accept a police caution without having first taken legal advice. A caution is an admission of guilt and not something to be taken lightly. Unlike court sentences it is never spent.