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Share a gun cabinet? So how do you list your guns on your shotgun licences?

Bill Harriman advises a husband and wife who share a shotgun cabinet

female clay shooting

What happens if you share a gun cabinet with somebody and both of you have shotgun licences. How do you write this information on your documents? Here’s a question I received from a couple who share a gun cabinet who asked just this question. (For more advice on shotgun licences read here.)

If you’re looking to buy a gun cabinet, you can read our list of the best gun safes here.

Share a gun cabinet?

Q: My wife and I share a gun cabinet and I’ve been told my shotguns should appear as ‘shared’ on my wife’s shotgun licence and hers shown similarly on mine. We are happy to do this as our certificates come up for renewal three months apart.

How should we word this on our respective shotgun licences, and how would we pass this information to the licensing authority?

Once the words are on the certificates can we simply photocopy them and send them to our county police firearms department? We’d welcome some advice on this.

What the law says

A: A shotgun certificate allows the holder to possess any number of shotguns providing he or she has adequate security measures in place to secure them when they are not in use.

  • A certificate also allows the holder to borrow a shotgun from another certificate holder for a period of 72 hours without having to enter the shotgun on to his certificate and inform the police that he has acquired it.
  • The 72-hour loan period can be repeated indefinitely upon each expiry.
  • Consequently, there is no need for your shotguns to be entered on to both your certificates unless you want to do so.
  • Certainly, the certificates do not have to be annotated with the word “shared”.
  • It is enough that the details of the gun appear on both certificates.
  • The downside of this practice is that both of you could face prosecution if a gun was to be lost or stolen as a result of one person’s negligence.
firearm certificate and shotgun certificate

What should you do if you lose your shotgun certificate?

Lost gun licence

A: I have just settled into my new house and cannot find my gun licence. Do I have to tell the police and will I be in trouble? (Read more about moving house and your gun certificates – what you need to know.)

A: It is not an offence to lose a shotgun certificate, but there is a cost of £4 for a replacement if you cannot produce the old one. Write to the police force that issued your certificate, enclose a cheque, explaining what has happened and ask for a replacement. You are required by law to notify the Chief Constable who issued your shotgun certificate of any permanent change of address. The condition that imposes this duty uses the words “without undue delay”. This wording is used to allow the certificate holder to get settled and to install his cabinet; no fixed time limit is imposed because the law recognises that individual circumstances are all different. It does not allow for laziness. All you need to do is to write or email your licensing department and say that you have moved.

This article was originally published in 2014 and has been updated.