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What’s the law on moving gun cabinets to a different location?

Whether you're moving house or just want to move your gun cabinet around, here are the answers.

slipping a gun

Unload your guns, slip them and walk back to your vehicles

Every responsible gun owner needs to be up to date on the law of storing guns and the rules on gun cabinets. 

But what about if you’re off to a new house – which also means moving your gun cabinets? Or maybe you’ve built an extension and want to store your guns in the new area.

What’s the law on moving gun cabinets to a new location?

You don’t have to notify your local firearms department if you move your gun cabinet to another part of your property but you do have to make sure it is just as secure in the new place as it was in the old one. Bear in mind that the police may want to inspect the new location of your gun cabinet when you renew your certificate.

However if you are moving house  you must tell the local police about your forthcoming move at the earliest opportunity. Condition 3 on your shotgun/firearms certificate says: “The holder of this certificate must, without undue delay, inform the chief officer of police by whom the certificate was granted of any change in his permanent address.”

Moving gun cabinets

A well disguised gun cabinet

Can you have gun cabinets in different places under one certificate?

Q: Do I have to tell the police about my other gun cabinet? My gun cabinets are at my home address in the Midlands, and my certificates apply to this address, but I spend a lot of time shooting and working part-time. To keep the guns safe while I am there, I want to install a gun cabinet. Do I have to tell the police about this arrangement?

A: No. So long as the Midlands address remains your main address there is no need to inform the police.

In your circumstances, especially if you have a rifle, it is very sensible to install a cabinet in the place where you regularly use your guns.

A friend has offered to house my cabinets – is this legal?

Q: I’m new to shooting and in process of applying for a shotgun certificate. I will be unable to house my gun cabinets in my house but have had the offer from a friend to use his business premises, which have secure alarms linked to the police.

However, I understand I am unlikely to get approval for a shotgun certificate under this arrangement.  Can you confirm this, or let me know of any alternative ways of storing the gun?

A: Best practice for installing a gun cabinet suggests that a garage or any other outbuilding is not a very secure location. The only exception to this would be an integral garage with a connecting internal door to the house.

I don’t think placing a cabinet in someone else’s premises is a good idea either, because it limits your access to the shotgun. Equally, as you cannot have oversight of it on a routine basis, you can never be sure that someone is not trying to get at it.  This arrangement is unlikely to find favour with the police.

One of the most effective ways of placing a gun cabinet is to set it on its back and screw it to the floor joists. It is hard to detach because anyone trying to break into it cannot use their upper body strength to best effect.

And, best of all, it is disguised by being covered in carpeting. An alternative is to install the cabinet in the back of a fitted wardrobe, where it would be difficult to find.

Most gun dealers will store guns for you, but this can be expensive. Furthermore, I doubt the police would be satisfied by this arrangement either.