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How to Get a Firearms Certificate in the UK


If you wish to own or buy a firearm of any kind in the UK, you must have a firearms certificate. A certificate is also required by law if you want to go out and buy any ammunition.

This post reveals more about how to go about getting a firearms certificate. Not everyone is eligible to get one, so you can find out whether you are eligible or not here.

Who can apply?

You must be a full member of a minimum of one target shooting club to be able to apply for the certificate. Alternatively you will need permission to use firearms over land. If you are not a full member or you do not have such permission, your application will be denied.

How to apply

In order to apply for the certificate you will need to fill in an application form (Form 101) and a referee form (Form 125). These must be filled in fully and sent back to the Police Firearms Licensing Department. If you wish to apply for a shotgun certificate you must fill in Form 103.


The forms can be obtained from your local police station. You can find your local police force website here to find out where to go. Alternatively you can view this example of the Thames Valley Police example of the application form and here for the example referee form. Always make sure you acquire the appropriate forms from your own police force, wherever you live in the country. The quickest way to find them is to Google the form number you need plus your local police force name (such as Form 103 Kent Police for example).

The number of referees you will need depends on the firearm you wish to hold. A shotgun certificate requires you to have one referee, whereas a firearm certificate requires two referees.

The same application form should be filled in regardless of whether you are applying to hold a certificate or to renew or vary an existing one. Simply tick the appropriate box at the top of the

In addition to filling in the paperwork you must send along four passport sized photographs. These should be recent and without a hat (much as you would be required to provide for a passport. One must also be signed on the reverse. Always read all the instructions on the forms to ensure you submit them correctly.

How much does it cost?

It currently costs £50 to apply for a new firearm or shotgun certificate. Renewals are slightly cheaper at £40. A shotgun coterminous renewal (made at the same time as a regular firearm renewal) is £10. If you need to vary an existing certificate you will pay a fee of £26.

This may all seem quite complex but it is important to ensure you get everything just right when it comes to making your application. It will vastly improve the odds of being accepted for a certificate as quickly as possible.

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