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Firearms Licensing for Young People

The firearms law is different in relation to young people.

The Home Office Guide on Firearms Licencing Law 2016 indicates the rules for young people using and possessing firearms and shotguns, as stated below:

Under 18

If you are under 18, you can:

  • receive gift of section 1 firearm
  • possess assembled shot gun – Exemptions
  • receive shotgun as gift

If you are under 18, you cannot:

  • purchase any firearm or ammunition
  • possess section 1 firearm – Exemptions
  • possess air weapon – Exemptions
  • receive air weapons as gift
Under 17

If you are under 17, you can:

  • receive gift of section 1 firearm
  • possess assembled shot gun – Exemptions
  • receive shotgun as gift

If you are under 17, you cannot:

  • purchase any firearm or ammunition
  • possess section 1 firearm – Exemptions
  • possess air weapon – Exemptions (see 2, 3, 4 and 6)
  • receive air weapons as gift
Under 15

If you are under 15, you can:

  • Receive gift of section 1 firearm

If you are under 15, you cannot:

  • purchase any firearm or ammunition 
  • possess section 1 firearm – Exemptions
  • possess assembled shot gun – Exemptions (see 4 and 5)
  • receive shotgun as a gift
  • possess air weapons – Exemptions (see 2, 3, 4 and 6)
  • receive air weapons as gift
Under 14

If you are under 14, you cannot:

  • purchase any firearm or ammunition 
  • possess section 1 firearm – Exemptions (see 1, 2 and 3)
  • receive gift of section 1 firearm
  • possess assembled shot gun – Exemptions (see 4 and 5)
  • receive shotgun as a gift
  • possess air weapons – Exemptions (see 2, 3, 4 and 6)
  • receive air weapons as gift

Exemptions

  1. Carry for sporting purpose
  2. Rifle/Pistol Club or cadet corps
  3. Miniature rifle range
  4. Under supervision of someone 21 years or over
  5. Secure gun cover
  6. On private land with the consent of the occupier

Weapons as gifts 
Even if a young person is eligible to receive a weapon as a gift, they must hold the relevant certificate to do so.