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Should a youngster have his or her own shotgun certificate?

Peter Glenser advises a reader ...

Young Shot

Q:  I would like to buy my son his first shotgun as a birthday present when he turns 14 this summer. Can he have his own shotgun certificate or is it best to put it on mine?

A: Whilst I would suggest the new shotgun should be on yours as well, you should know that shotgun certificates for under 18 year olds can be applied for. There is no minimum age at which a young person may obtain a shotgun certificate and young Guns need them to be able to borrow shotguns when under the age of 15. Whilst this age group must be supervised at all times by a 21-year-old or over, there are times when the lending certificate holder cannot be immediately present and the youngster is placed with a suitable person aged over 21.

Borrowing a gun

There are two ways for a person under 15 to borrow a gun; firstly for 72 hours according to certificate instructions (i.e. without completing any written transfer or notification to police), and secondly by written transfer by the lender onto Table 2 of the recipients certificate and a notification to police by both parties (as per certificate instructions).

Shotgun certificates for under 18 year olds and gun storage

In addition, the law says that anyone under 18 holding a shotgun certificate must have secure shotgun and amunition storage supervised by somebody aged 18 or over. BASC advises: “The person assuming responsibility must be either the certificate holder’s parent or guardian or a person aged 18 or over who is authorised to have possession of such firearms and ammunition. It may not always be necessary for the parent or guardian to also have a firearms certificate if arrangements are made for the firearm to be secured in a cabinet with two separate locks which can only be opened when both key holders are present and one of the key holders is a certificate holder.”