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.
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 certificate by completing our online form.
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 want to apply for an explosives certificate, see licensing of explosives.
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
If you are not completing the online form, you will need to provide this information on the request for additional information form.
About the application process
Did you get my application?
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.
When will I receive my 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.
Will I receive an inspection visit?
Depending on current renewal procedures, you may not receive an inspection visit.
For more information on applying or renewing a firearms certificate, contact Firearms Licensing.