Firearms Licensing

Thames Valley Police licenses 6,399 firearms, 27,707 shotgun, and 441 explosives certificate holders - the second highest total in the country.

Firearms are licensed in accordance with the Firearms Acts 1968-1997 and other associated acts. Our priority is to support the legal, safe and secure possession of firearms within Thames Valley.

Renewal of firearm and shotgun certificates – important information

Where there is no concern for public safety and the applicant fulfils all legislative criteria, Thames Valley Police will endeavour to process the renewal of a firearms or shotgun certificate within 60 working days from date of receipt.

Please note that, due to the high volume of work that we are currently experiencing, there is a delay in carrying out the background checks. As a consequence of this, we may be unable to process grant applications within 60 working days.

Renewal applications

It is your responsibility to ensure that your application to renew is received by the Thames Valley Police Firearms Licensing Department at least eight weeks prior to the expiry date. If you submit your application form outside of this eight-week period then it is your responsibility to find alternative storage arrangements for your shotguns/firearms and ammunition. In accordance with Home Office Guidance, Thames Valley Police will not issue you with a Section 7 permit if you have failed to submit your application form in good time.

If your renewal application is unfortunately delayed by Thames Valley Police, we will automatically issue you a Section 7 permit prior to the expiry date to cover your continued possession of shotguns/firearms and ammunition.


  • All firearms and ammunition held must be taken to a Registered Firearms Dealer for safe keeping until you receive your new certificate.


  • All shotguns held may either be taken to a Registered Firearms Dealer or another current shotgun certificate holder who has adequate storage facilities for safe keeping until you receive your new certificate.


  • The Firearms Licensing Department must be informed of the location of any guns held. View ‘notice of transfer or disposal of a firearm or shotgun’ page for more information.


Firearms Certificate Grant - £50.
Renewal - £40.
Variation of Firearms Certificate - £26.

Shotgun Certificate Grant - £50.
Renewal - £40.
Coterminous Renewal of Shotgun - £10.

Dealer’s Certificate of Registration - £150.
Renewal of Dealer’s Certificate - £150.
Visitor’s Firearms Permit - *£12.
Visitor’s Shotgun Permit - *£12.

* To a maximum of £60 for a group application.

There is no fee for the following services:

  • European Firearms Pass.
  • Temporary Firearm Permit.
  • Temporary Shotgun Permit.

Contact the Firearms Licensing department:

Thames Valley Police
Firearms and Explosive Licensing Department
Police Headquarters
OX5 2NX.

Telephone - 01865 846566 (lines are open from 2pm-4pm Monday to Friday. Please note, these revised times are as a result of the high volume of work that we are currently experiencing).

Email the Firearms Licensing department, or contact your local firearms enquiry officer.


Please fill out the application form after reading the information below.

Applicants must:

  • Complete the application form honestly and accurately.
  • Send four photographs of the correct size.
  • Sign one copy.
  • Have one copy signed by the referee for a shot gun application/by both referees for a firearm application.
  • Send a cheque for the correct amount, payable to Thames Valley Police.
  • Have the two referees return their forms.

We will endeavour to process your application within the following times, from date of receipt:

  • Grant, renewal or variation of a firearms certificate – within 60 working days.
  • Grant or renewal of a shotgun certificate – within 60 working days.
  • Change of address – within 30 working days.
  • Issue a European Firearms Pass – within 20 working days.
  • Issue a temporary permit – within 20 working days.

Please note: No commitment can be made for a Visitor’s Firearms or Shotgun Permits due to the requirement for checks within Interpol – Visit the Interpol website.