Applying for a firearm or shot gun certificate

All applications are made to the chief officer of police for the area where you live.Pic 1

A chief officer of police must not grant a certificate to anyone they have reason to believe is;

  • Prohibited by the Act from possessing a firearm or

  • Is of intemperate habits or unsound mind or

  • Is for any reason unfit to be trusted with a firearm

They must also be satisfied that the applicant;

  • Has good reason for needing a firearm or ammunition.

  • Can be permitted to have the firearm or ammunition without danger to public safety or to the peace.

Every application will be considered and assessed for suitability using all relevant information available to us.

Applications must be made using Form 201.

If you do not have access to a PC with printing facilities you can contact the firearms licensing department or you can visit your local police station to get a form. 

The application form must be completed to the required standard before being sent to the firearms licensing department. Once it has been checked for completeness all relevant enquiries will be made and we may contact you to arrange a home visit or we may discuss the application with you by phone.

When we speak to you we will talk about your lifestyle, domestic arrangements, health and well being. If we visit you, we will check your home and gun security. On either occasion we will answer any questions and provide guidance.

We will subsequently advise you in writing that your application has been granted or refused. If it is refused the fee and your photographs will be returned.

Certificates issued by Northumbria Police will be printed in black ink only.


  1. When applying for a firearm certificate, you should have gained the permission of two people who have agreed to act as referees for you. You must complete Parts F and G with their details. When applying for a shotgun certificate you should have gained the permission of one person to act as a referee for you. You must complete part F with their details.

  2. The referee(s) who have agreed to act for you must have known you personally for at least two years and must be resident in Great Britain. A referee

                must not be a member of your immediate family, a registered firearms dealer, a serving police officer, a police employee, a Police and Crime

                Commissioner or a member of their staff, or a member of, or a member of staff of, the Scottish Police Authority. Referees must be of good character

                and any references they agree to provide must be given freely and not on payment.



Before granting a certificate, the chief officer of police needs to be satisfied that all guns will be stored securely, there are however no statutory provisions on how this duty will be discharged.

The Firearms Rules do not prescribe the form of safekeeping or security to be adopted. The police must look at the individual circumstances of each case and of the overall security arrangements that will be in place. The level of security must be proportionate to the risk in each case.

In most circumstances guns and relevant ammunition should be secured within the occupied structure of the dwelling; detached buildings, garages and outhouses should not be used unless the levels of security are considered by the police to be satisfactory.

Section 1 ammunition should be stored separately from Section 1 firearms.