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.


An application for the grant or renewal of a certificate requires the applicant to supply the names and addresses of people who have agreed to act as referees for them.

A firearm application requires the applicant to provide the details of two people; a shot gun application requires the details of one person.

Each referee must have sight of, and have read the completed application form before completing their part of the application (Part F).

When the application is for the renewal of a firearm certificate required for target shooting, one of the referees must be a club official of the approved club named on the applicant’s firearms certificate; it is not however a requirement in this circumstance that the club official has known the applicant personally for at least two years. The second referee must meet the requirements and must not be a member of any target shooting club.


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.