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8 must-reads that will help when you’re applying for a shotgun and/or firearms certificate

Queries about certificates are amongst the most frequently asked questions to the letters pages of Shooting Times, Sporting Gun and Shooting Gazette. So here are some useful answers.


Applying for shotgun and firearms certificates – 8 must-reads

  1. How to get your shotgun certificate. Let’s start at the very beginning (as the Sound of Music song goes). This useful piece will tell you how to apply, how long it’s likely to take, what police involvement might be and the gun security you’ll need.
  2. How to get a firearm certificate. As above, this gives you the essential steps to take, where you can apply online and circumstances when you don’t need a firearm certificate.
  3. How to lose your shotgun and firearms certificates. You certainly don’t want this to happen. Here’s what to avoid. Some of the advice is obvious, some may surprise you. One tip – be very careful of what you post on social media.
  4. Delays in receiving certificates. This is so frustrating so we tell you how you can complain and speed up the process. Who you should be contacting. How do you know if the service you have been getting is below set standards? Should you e mail or write. What’s the best action? This article covers all the bases.
  5. Many shooters are having trouble having licence renewals or applications processed due to overpressured or anti-fieldsports GPs being involved. Here’s what you can do about it.
  6. Will a police caution prevent you from receiving a certificate. What if you’ve been arrested?
  7. Do I have to pay my GP for certifying my certificate application? What’s the law on this? Some readers have reported being charged in excess of £300 for a signature from their medical provider. Should they pay it? Do they have to?
  8. Depression and gun ownership. Will a history of depression prevent you from having your certificate renewed or issued? This is a key issue. What exactly is the law on mental health and possessing a firearm? Bill Harriman has written sympathetically and practically on the subject, helping to clear up a lot of worry and misinformation.