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Apply or Renew a Firearms Licence

The possession and use of firearms in the UK is prohibited, unless you have been granted a suitable licence by the police.

Applying for a Licence

The Firearms Licensing team are responsible for issuing certificates for firearms, shotguns and explosives to residents within the Avon and Somerset area.

How to apply or renew

Apply or renew online

Who can be a referee?

Each application must be supported by an endorsement from two people who have agreed to be a referee. The referees must meet the following requirements:

  • Be resident in Great Britain
  • Have known the applicant for at least two years
  • Be of good character
  • Not be a family relation to the applicant
Required photographic evidence

Each application must also be supported by a passport photograph of the applicant showing them in their current true likeness. The photograph must be signed by the applicant.

Required supporting information

Supporting information demonstrating your good reason for possessing a section 1 firearm, is vital when we make our decision on granting or renewing your licence.

  • Target shooting - you will need to provide details of the club of which you are a member
  • Quarry shooting - we require details of your permission to shoot over at least one piece of land

Provide this information on the Request for Additional Information form.

Certificate Renewal

Firearms and shotgun certificates are valid for five years, after which they will have to be renewed.

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.

If you are having difficulty viewing the application forms, download and install Adobe Acrobat Reader by visiting

Related documents

  • PDF icon Form 201 Application for Firearm-Shotgun Certificate
    Last updated: 22 December 2016
  • PDF icon Form 646 Request for Additional Information
    Last updated: 18 June 2018
  • PDF icon Form 201: Guidance Notes
    Last updated: 08 April 2019