Apply or renew a firearms licence
Anyone who owns or uses a firearm in the UK requires an appropriate licence or certificate from the police. Firearms and shotgun certificates are valid for five years, after which they will have to be renewed.
Due to the impact of COVID-19, there will be severe delays in managing grant applications for firearms and shotguns. This is because all grant applications require a home inspection and visit to your home.
Therefore we encourage you not to submit grant only applications at this time.
Any grant only applications will be placed in a holding area until we are able to manage the demand.
Online renewal applications will be dealt with.
Applying or renewing a licence
If you live in the Avon and Somerset area, you can apply for the grant or renewal of a firearms and/or shotgun certificate by completing our online form.
What you need to include with your application
Your application must be supported by an endorsement from two people who have agreed to be a referee. The referees must:
- be resident in Great Britain
- have known you for at least two years
- be of good character
- not be a family relation
Your application must be supported by a passport photograph showing your current true likeness and signed by yourself.
You must provide a good reason for possessing a section 1 firearms. For example:
- Target shooting – you will need to provide details of the club of which you are a member
- Quarry shooting – you will need to provide details of your permission to shoot over at least one piece of land
About the application process
We deal with a high number of renewals every month and are therefore unable to acknowledge individual applications.
If your application is complete, payment will be processed immediately.
All incomplete applications will be returned for your attention.
Receiving your certificate
Applications are dealt with in order of their expiry date. Certificates are renewed approximately 7-14 days before the expiry date to ensure you remain in lawful possession of your guns.
Depending on current renewal procedures, you may not receive an inspection visit.
Other ways to apply
Alternatively, you can download the PDF documents and return them with your payment and supporting information to Firearms Licensing.
- Form 201 – Application for Firearm-Shotgun Certificate (PDF)
- Form 646 – Request for Additional Information (PDF)
- Form 201 – Guidance notes (PDF)
If you are not completing the online form, you will need to provide a good reason for possessing a section 1 firearms on the request for additional information form (PDF).
For more information on applying or renewing a firearms certificate, contact Firearms Licensing.
If you want to apply for an explosives certificate, see licensing of explosives.