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What you need to know about renewing your shotgun and firearms certificates during the COVID pandemic

Can it all be done remotely? Graham Downing advises.

renewing your shotgun certificate

How do you renew your shotgun certificate during the COVID pandemic?

If you’re medically vulnerable or living with somebody who is, then you’ll have had to be particularly cautious during the COVID pandemic. But what’s the deal if you need to renew your shotgun licence and/or your firearms certificate?  A reader wrote to Shooting Times recently with just this query. Here’s what the advice was.

Renewing your shotgun licence during COVID (and your firearms licence)

Q: My coterminous shotgun and firearm certificates are due for renewal soon. I am medically vulnerable and, because of the coronavirus pandemic, I am self-isolating. I am concerned about anyone visiting to inspect my guns and cabinet. Can I renew my certificates without having someone visit?

A: Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, firearms licensing authorities have made special arrangements for renewals and, in most cases, have conducted telephone interviews rather than requiring a visit from a firearms enquiry officer. Make sure your application for renewal is received by the police in good time — at least eight weeks before the expiry date — and your licensing department will then contact you. They will most probably want to make a telephone renewal, but explain the situation to them anyway. If necessary, a simple inspection of your cabinet or the serial numbers of your guns can be made during a video call.

shooter on phone

Many interviews can be carried out by phone

Takeaways from this

  • Firearms licensing authorities have put in place special procedures for renewing your shotgun licence and firearms certificate
  • The majority of interviews are carried out by telephone
  • Give yourself plenty of time for renewing your shotgun licence (no change there then)
  • Eight weeks is the minimum to leave renewal before your certificates expire
  • However if your certificate expires before you receive a valid replacement, you should ask for a temporary permit, issued under Section 7 of the Firearms Act 1968
  • It is possible to carry out inspection of a gun cabinet and guns during a video call