The age limits under the Firearms Acts for young persons owning and using rifles and shotguns are detailed, so each case should be carefully studied to avoid falling foul of the law.

A 16-year-old may not purchase a rifle or shotgun, but can be lent or given these firearms. The young person must, of course, have a firearms and/or shotgun certificate before the loan or gift is made.

As a certificate holder, the person must keep his or her firearms and ammunition securely stored at all times.

Standard Condition 4(a) on all certificates applies; this means secure storage arrangements must be made.

‘Unauthorised access’ must be prevented and this applies not only to burglars, but also to other members of the young person’s household not entitled to access his or her firearms. This would include anyone uncertificated or who, if the holder of a certificate, is not cross-certificated.

If a security cabinet is shared, then all the certificate holders should have all their firearms and shotguns registered on each other’s certificates, unless, within the shared cabinet, access to an individual’s firearms is prevented by them being secured by a collar or similar device.