Before starting your firearm or shotgun certificate application, double check below whether you, or the person on whose behalf you’re enquiring, is legally entitled to buy, own or use a firearm. For further details on the UK's Firearms Licensing Law, it's also useful to visit the UK Government's website.

Please note

Some young shotgun and firearm certificate holders have a notice on their certificates stating that they cannot purchase shotguns until they attain the age of 17 years. This has now been increased to 18 years of age and all such certificate holders should have received a letter explaining the change in the law and how it affects them. 

Where ‘Exceptions’ are mentioned in the table, please refer to the list immediately below. 

Activity Under 18 Under 15 Under 14
Buy or hire any
firearm or ammunition
(incl. shotguns
and air weapons)

X

X

X
Possess a Section 1
firearm and
ammunition 
 

 ✔


X
Exceptions: 1, 2, 3

Receive a Section 1
firearm and
ammunition as a gift
 
 
 
X
Possess an assembled
shotgun
and ammunition
 

 X
Exceptions: 1, 4, 5

 X
Exceptions: 1, 4, 5
Receive a shotgun as a gift    X  X
Possess an air weapon  X
Exceptions 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
 X
Exceptions 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
 X
Exceptions 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Receive an air weapon
as a gift
 X  X  X
Possess an air weapon
in a public place
 X
Exceptions 1, 2, 3, 4
 X
Exceptions 1, 2, 3, 4
 X
Exceptions 1, 2, 3, 4

Exceptions

  1. If carrying on behalf of the certificate holder (who is aged 18 years or over) and for the certificate holders’ sporting purposes only
  2. As part of an approved club or cadet corps
  3. On a Miniature Rifle Range
  4. Under the supervision of someone over 21 years old
  5. When the shotgun is in a securely fastened gun cover so that it cannot be fired
  6. Unless on private property with the permission of the land owner. It is an offence for someone under this exception to fire any missile beyond the boundary of the premises unless with permission of the adjacent landowner