If you are thinking of buying a shotgun, it pays to find out as much as you can about the likely costs involved before you do anything else. We’ve put together this handy guide to give you an overview of what is involved, and the various areas you have to think about.
The process of buying a shotgun
If you are a first-time buyer, you’ll need to be aware of the process involved in purchasing your very first shotgun. For starters, there is the cost of the gun itself. This will depend on the exact nature of the gun, but some of the more basic models can be bought for around £600 and up. There are certainly plenty of them available for under £1,000, as well as others for more than that.
But as you will see, there are other costs involved as well.
Once you have an idea of how much the actual shotgun will cost you, you also need to focus on the licensing costs. It is illegal to own a shotgun unless you have the appropriate shotgun certificate.
The initial grant of the certificate currently costs £79.50. This can change, so you should always check what the current costs are prior to applying. You will need to apply via your local police force, and the relevant site in your part of the country will have the exact fees listed for your convenience. Check this to determine the exact rate applicable in your area.
Every firearms certificate only runs for a period of five years. You would then need to get the certificate renewed at an additional fee, although this is less than the initial fee involved. According to the latest information on the gov.uk website, you also need a separate certificate in order to buy ammunition.
Storage costs and accessories
Of course, the process doesn’t end with the purchase of your shotgun. You must also think about how you are going to store the shotgun and cartridges safely, so no one else can gain access to them. To this end, you should have a cabinet ready to put the shotgun in when you buy it. You won’t be granted a licence unless you can demonstrate you have a safe place in which to store your gun – and if you have it ready to show the police office when you get a home visit (which you will), it may make life a lot easier for you.
The first thing you will need is a gun cabinet, like the Lion Guard Premium 1-gun cabinet. This provides police-approved storage to BS7558/92 standards for one shotgun. It also takes up very little floor space and comes with suitable fixing bolts so the cabinet itself cannot be moved. If you intend to get more than one shotgun, you can upgrade to the Lion Guard Premium 2-gun breakdown cabinet. Again, fixing bolts are included and it takes up minimal floor space.
You should also consider how to safely store your shotgun cartridges. These should ideally be stored in an appropriate bag or case that is designed for this purpose. A good example is the Guardian Canterbury leather loaders case. The interior is divided into four sections, so you can store your cartridges neatly into each one to stop them sliding about if you only have one or two boxes.
What about safe storage during transport?
This is another point worth thinking about, as you need to make sure you take your shotgun safely to your local gun club whenever you intend to use it there. obviously, you don’t want to be walking around carrying it over one arm, or having it visible in the back of your vehicle. For a shotgun, a single shotgun slip is the best idea. This is often made from canvas and leather, like the Guardian Heritage single shotgun slip, for instance. It also has an adjustable shoulder strap so you can carry it comfortably, while also including a small hand strap in case you want to carry it that way instead.
As you can see, there are lots of costs associated with getting a shotgun other than the cost of the gun itself. By making sure you fully understand what you need to get before you buy a shotgun, you will be fully prepared to meet these costs. You will also know when your certificate for holding the gun runs out, so you can apply for a renewal in plenty of time.
So before you buy your shotgun, do some research. Look into the various cabinets available and figure out how and where you are going to store your cartridges. Make sure you know where in your home you can store your gun safely, and you will find it much easier to get what you need.