firearms licensing

Here is your go-to resource to discover the latest news and legislation on firearms. How to buy them, store them and how to get a firearms licence.

Great responsibility comes with owning a firearm and you need to know how to store your guns securely and how to prevent them falling into the wrong hands.

UK gun law is always being updated and changed and here we keep our readers informed about what they should know. We take gun safety very seriously and you’ll find our articles on it here. 

Our panel of experts is always contributing articles and reviews which you can find on Shooting UK.  If you need advice on a particular subject, e mail Shooting UK directly here

You might also find it useful to take a look at our section on shotgun and firearms certificates.

Looking for a rifle? Check out our review section, listed by manufacturer.

Man with shotgun

Why the Home Office consultation on firearms licensing is a muddle

Firearms licensing has never been satisfactory, but it became an even bigger mess in April 2016 when the Home Office introduced new medical requirements. These were agreed between the Home Office, British Medical Association, shooting organisations and the police. The BMA broke ranks almost immediately and some police forces were…

Houses of Parliament

Exclusive: Government proposes to tighten firearms licensing

The Home Office has today contacted Shooting Times with news of a consultation on statutory guidance for the police issuing firearms certificates. The Government department has signed an agreement with the British Medical Association (BMA) to improve co-operation between the police and GPs. The independent police inspectorate, HMICFRS, previously found…

cleaning a stalking rifle

Useful tips on getting your firearms certificate

Thinking about getting your firearms certificate? If you already have a shotgun certificate, it makes sense to apply for what is known as a “coterminous” certificate. This basically means that you will have one end date for both your shotgun and rifle licences. These are popular with both police forces…

Practising gun fit

How long will it take you to get your shotgun and firearms certificates?

As in our last report, the City of London offers the shortest waiting times for receiving a new (or renewal of a shotgun certificate). Apply there and you can expect results in nine days, although previously it took five and three days respectively. The tables below were created by the…

firearms licensing

Review of firearms licensing in Scotland drives call for improvements

HMICS has powers to look into the “state, effectiveness and efficiency” of both the Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority (SPA). It said that while firearms licensing in Scotland has become more consistent since the formation of Police Scotland in 2013, there are still many areas requiring improvement. A…

call for fair firearms licensing

Lobby your MP for fair firearms licensing

The Countryside Alliance has launched a new campaign seeking consistent and fair firearms licensing. It comes in response to the “failing” medical procedures introduced in 2016 for shooters seeking applications and renewals, which have been criticised for being applied inconsistently across different counties – with some applicants being charged up…

Don’t throw away money by handing in antique guns, says expert

BASC is asking shooters to check for “cash in the attic” in the form of unwanted guns, rather than handing them in. The call comes following the current national firearms surrender campaign, which is running from 13 to 26 November, during which people can hand over firearms and ammunition at…

get into shooting

How to get into shooting

If you are looking to get into shooting of any kind, this easy guide will give you plenty of hints and tips

Gun dealers warned over Islamic State threat

The police have asked registered firearms dealers to be extra vigilant after an online magazine published by Islamic State advised would-be terrorists to acquire guns from gun shops by force. A letter to dealers from Assistant Chief Constable Dave Orford, the National Police Chiefs Council lead for firearms licensing, stressed…

shotgun certificate

It’s time the firearms licensing system was overhauled – don’t you agree?

Have you seen your doctor recently? If you have, I do hope it wasn’t for anything significant. I don’t know about you, but I consider a visit to the doctor to be what marketing geeks call a “distress purchase”. It isn’t a recreational choice so much as something you do only when absolutely necessary. Mind you, I…

man shooting in field

Anti-shooting proposals in “Tory” group manifesto

The Countryside Alliance (CA) has called on the Conservative Party to distance itself from an animal welfare group that it says is “masquerading” as part of the party. The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, established last year, seeks “an inquiry into commercial driven shoots” and urges the Government to “commit to…

rifle and bullets

“Little impact” from EU gun restrictions thanks to MEPs

Conservative MEP Vicky Ford says she is making “good progress” in her discussions to agree revisions to the EU Firearms Directive. Following the third round of discussions between the European Parliament, Commission and Council, Mrs Ford said the three sides were moving together on a range of issues. “At the moment, the Parliament is demanding its key positions are met. We…

10 year shotgun firearms certificates drive

BASC: The case for ten year shotgun and firearms certificates

The renewal process can be one of the most frustrating times in a certificate holder’s life. All too often we hear of delays, temporary permits being issued, guns having to be lodged and – even worse – people being left in illegal possession of firearms. That is one reason BASC, in September last year, published a White Paper calling…


A year of change for laws on licensing firearms

First, in September 2015, came the report by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) for England and Wales into the efficiency of the licensing system. It will come as no surprise to readers who have the misfortune to live in Essex, Gloucestershire, Thames Valley or Hampshire that HMIC found much to be desired in the way the police…

Lee Enfield No. 4 Skeleton

Lee Enfield No. 4 Skeleton (SKN)

Many of those who did military service will be acquainted with the skeleton Lee Enfield No. 4 bolt-action rifle action used as a training and demonstration aid. I first saw one as a teenager in the early 1960s when I joined the Army Cadets which, I admit, was much more for the…

Essex police logo

Essex Police to cut licensing backlog

The changes come as a meeting was held this week, chaired by Essex Deputy Chief Constable Matt Horne and attended by BASC, the National Farmers’ Union and the Countryside Alliance, to discuss a rise in complaints about the force’s performance. Gary Ashton, BASC’s director of firearms operations, said: “The delays experienced…

firearms licensing

Concern over “unworkable” proposals to European Council’s firearms regulations

The organisation says that is is “deeply concerned” by the proposals, feeling that many are “unworkable”. Today, 11 April,  the  European Council Working Party on General Matters including Evaluation (GENVAL) are meeting to discuss proposed amendments to the 1991 Firearms Directive. It is the supplementary proposals that have alarmed the Countryside…

New medical monitoring for firearms and shotgun licence holders

The new system, led by the Home Office, will make it much more straightforward for GPs to alert police licensing departments if a medical condition is going to affect the certificate holder’s suitability to possess firearms. The condition can also be flagged up during the period the certificate is valid.…

firearms ownership

Shooting Industry has little to fear from Brexit, say experts

A “Brexit” would have little or no major impact on UK firearms ownership, according to shooting industry leaders. While the 23 June in-out referendum on the UK’s continued membership of the European Union (EU) could have consequences for the agricultural industry and the environment the shooting industry has less to worry…