Before you race out the door, donning your shooting jackets with your shotgun in hand, you need to ensure that it is fully licensed. Don’t wait until the police reminder letter comes through your door, as it is often too late! This guide will tell you everything you need to know to renew your license for when your shotgun certificate is getting close to its expiry date.
Not waiting for the police reminder letter seems a bit of a given but we recommend getting your renewal application in at least 12 weeks before your current certificate is due to expire. This is because it can take up to 8 weeks for the new certificate to be granted, and the last thing you want is to be without a license because your current one has expired. It is very important to ensure that this does not happen as it is your sole responsibility.
However, it should be noted that if the certificate is not issued due to an administrative delay, you can request for a temporary permit, issued under section 7 of the Firearms Act 1968.
How can I apply?
There are two ways to apply for a certificate renewal; online and by post.
The easiest way is to go to the website of your local police force, where you will find the relevant applications and details regarding the shotgun renewal certificate, according to your location in the UK.
Applications may differ from area to area; however, they should all follow this format. This application template will give you an idea of the information you will need to fill in the form.
What you’ll need to apply?
It is a good idea to have these following details to hand to speed up the application process. These include contact details, including: email address, phone number, work contact details and previous addresses if you’ve lived at your premises for less than five years.
Health and medical information will also be needed such as any relevant conditions you have and your GP’s practice address, postcode and phone number. Details will be needed about any offences or written cautions you have had and the shotgun(s) you own and their security arrangements.
You will have had to obtain two references for your application, that you have known for over two years, and will need to know their place and date of birth, contact details and occupation.
One passport style photo is also needed. This can be a physical photo or a digital photograph, which is no larger than 1MB, for the online application.
Tips for completing the application form
Questions relating to your health and criminal records should be answered honestly and in as much detail as possible. Both the NHS and the police will have this information on file, and failing to tell the truth could hinder the chances of the application getting accepted.
Details of ALL shotguns should be given as well as their serial numbers. These should match with the police’s current records, as well as the acquisition and disposal of each shotgun.
It is advisable to take a photocopy of your existing certificates and attach them to the application, as this can speed up the application process.
How much does it cost?
The price for a shotgun certificate renewal is £49.
Once you have been issued your new certificate, you can head out to the field and shoot to your heart’s content, knowing that you’re fully covered for the next five years.
For more information and tips on shooting, check out our Guide to Shooting blog, where you’ll find all you need to know to perfect this sport!