Please find the application forms for a firearm and shotgun certificate available below to download and print out.
Please read the guidance notes on this page before you complete the forms.
Please return all completed forms to:
The Police Firearms Licensing department
Thames Valley Police Headquarters
Application warning – please read
It is your responsibility to make sure that your application to renew is received by Thames Valley Police Firearms Licensing department before the expiry date of your current certificate.
If it is not, your application will be processed as a grant and, therefore, you cannot lawfully hold any weapons in your possession and the following steps must be taken:
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 should either be taken to a registered firearms dealer or a current shotgun certificate holder who has adequate storage facilities, until you receive your new certificate.
You must update the Firearms Licensing department of any changes in location of any weapons held.
The appropriate fees will be incurred.
When applying for the grant or renewal of a firearm/shotgun certificate, please adhere to the following points:
The fee for the grant of a firearm/shotgun certificate is £50. Cheques should be made payable to Thames Valley Police. No fee is payable where the certificate relates solely to a:
- Home Office approved club.
- Firearm, ammunition or signalling apparatus as part of equipment for a ship, aircraft or airport.
- Slaughtering instrument (not just humane killing).
- Firearm possessed as a trophy of war.
If you are applying for the grant or renewal of a firearm certificate and you already hold a shot gun certificate, you can save money in the long term by requesting that both certificates expire on the same date (i.e. made coterminous). By completing a shot gun renewal application at the same time as your firearms grant or renewal application, we will arrange for your shot gun certificate to expire on the same date as your firearms certificate. Future renewals of your shot gun certificate will be at the reduced fee of £10 instead of £40.
3.Good reason for possession of firearms
Section 27(1) (b) of the Firearms Act 1968 provides that a chief officer of police shall grant or renew a firearms/shotgun certificate if he is satisfied that the applicant has a good reason to possess/purchase/acquire the firearm or ammunition for which the application is made. Good reason is demonstrated by the applicant showing that he or she has acceptable facilities for use of the type of firearm or firearms concerned.
You will be expected to be a full member of a target shooting club. Membership will be verified with a club official.
(b)Shooting vermin/fox/deer or other quarry species
If you do not own the land or the shooting rights to the land on which you intend to shoot, you need permission to do so. This can be done in a letter or by providing the name and contact number of the land owner in order that it may be verified.
If you are applying for a variation to increase the number of firearms you wish to possess for shooting vermin/sporting shooting, please give the reason for the addition. Simply stating 'shooting vermin' or 'shooting deer’ is not sufficient. If, for example, you already have a .22RF rifle for shooting vermin and are applying for a second rifle for the same purpose, you will need to justify the need for two in order that your good reason can be assessed.
You should give the enclosed reference forms to two people who have known you for at least two years. If the application is in respect of a renewal of a firearm certificate for target shooting, then one referee must be an official of the approved club named on the application. Members of your immediate family, registered firearms dealers, serving police officers and employees cannot act as referees. Referees must be of good character. Both referees must sign the declaration at part E on the application, but return the reference form direct to the police. (Full details are to be found on the reference form in guidance notes FIR 125, available as a download).
All previous convictions must be declared on the application form when applying for a grant. Only convictions acquired since the previous renewal (or grant) need be entered when applying for a renewal. It is an offence under Section 28A (7) of the Firearms Acts 1968-1997 to make a false declaration when answering this question. It is not permitted to withhold previous convictions by virtue of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1975 (exceptions) order 1975 (see Notes to Part A on the application form). If the exact date cannot be remembered, please give an approximation as well as the nature of the offence. Not all convictions are relevant, but the offender's age when they were committed and the length of time without re-offending are factors which are considered in addition to the seriousness of the offence.
6.Security of firearms and shot guns
Security of your firearm(s) and ammunition is your responsibility. These guidelines are not mandatory and alternative methods of achieving a similar standard of security will be considered. They cover section 1 firearms and ammunition, and section 2 shot guns.
Any cabinet used to store firearms, component parts of firearms, or ammunition should conform to BS 7558(1992).
Rifles should be kept in a gun cabinet or within a gun room with adequate door and window security. Rifle bolts should be stored separately in a similar container, which may form part of the main cabinet, provided it is capable of being locked separately. Whilst shot guns are best kept in a gun cabinet, alternative methods of achieving a similar standard of security will be accepted e.g. in a substantial locked cupboard or secured to a wall with a chain or wire hawser (also locked).
Handguns are section 5 (prohibited) weapons. Where an exemption has been granted for their possession, they should be kept in a substantial steel container, preferably a gun cabinet.
Ammunition should be stored separately in a locked container. It may form part of the main cabinet provided it is separately locked. Ammunition boxes should be ventilated.
Gun cabinets must be attached to a sound surface and the force required to pull the fixing bolt should not be less than 2kN. The gun cabinet should be locked by means of one or more secure locks or close shackle padlocks of not less than 1,000 differs. Padlock shackles should be hardened. The cabinets should preferably be in a concealed place. Preferably it should not be in a garage or outhouse. Principally, only cabinets which meet the specification BS 7558 (1992) are suitable but others may be acceptable if examined by a Firearms Enquiry Officer.
Where numerous guns are kept, serious consideration should be given to the installation of an intruder alarm system conforming to BS 4737. All external doors to the premises should be secured with five lever mortice locks. Accessible, opening windows should be fitted with window locks. Alternatively, if the premises in which the firearms are to be stored are especially vulnerable e.g. flats, houses converted to apartments or dwellings in high risk areas, guns should be stored at an armoury or with a registered firearms dealer. In the case of collectors, guns should not be openly displayed.
When guns and ammunition are transported, consideration should be given to the security of both during the journey. Where guns and ammunition are transported on a regular basis, the installation of a lockable container securely bolted to the structure of the vehicle, so as to prevent easy removal by unauthorised persons, is strongly recommended. If the vehicle is to be left unattended, it will normally be sufficient to remove the bolt, trigger and/or fore-end of the gun, and for the remainder of the gun and ammunition to be concealed from view in the locked vehicle. If the vehicle is to be left unattended for prolonged periods, the guns and/or ammunition should be moved from the vehicle to a more secure location. Guns and/or ammunition should not be visible during transportation. If, exceptionally, guns are to be carried on public transport, they should be kept covered in a suitable case and remain with the holder at all times.
The following types of guns are generally regarded as antiques and, as such do not require a certificate provided they are not fired. If they are fired then the exemption for a certificate ceases.
- All original muzzle loading firearms.
- Breech loading firearms for rim-fire cartridges exceeding .23" calibre but excluding 9 millimetres.
- Breech loading firearms using ignition systems other than rim-fire or centre-fire, including pin fire, needle fire and contemporary transitional ignition systems.
- Breech loading firearms originally chambered for obsolete cartridges.
- These definitions are not exhaustive. If in doubt please contact the Firearms Licensing department.
8. Shot guns
A shot gun is defined as a smooth-bore gun (not being an air gun) which:
a)Has a barrel not less than 60.96 centimetres (24 inches) in length with a bore less than 5.08 centimetres (2 inches) in diameter.
b)Either has no magazine or has a fixed magazine not holding more than two cartridges and
c)Is not a revolver gun.
Shot guns not within this definition require a firearms certificate.
9.Prohibited weapons and ammunition
A firearm certificate or shot gun certificate will not authorise the possession of the following, unless authority has been obtained from the Secretary of State or an exemption applies.
a)Any firearm which is so designed or adapted that two or more missiles can be successively discharged without repeated pressure on the trigger.
b)Any self loading or pump action rifle other than one chambered for .22 rimfire cartridges.
c)Firearms disguised as other objects; walking stick/umbrella guns, pen pistols. See note (1) below.
d)Incendiary or armour piercing ammunition for military use. See note (1) below.
e)Any missile which is designed, or has been, in any of the above ammunition. See note (1) below.
f)Expanding ammunition chambered for pistols and revolvers only. See note (2) below.
g)Handguns, defined as having a barrel length of less than 30 centimetres or is less than 60 centimetres overall. There are exemptions if it is a trophy of war, of historic interest, used for starting races, humane killing or signalling as well as smooth bore pistols chambered for .410 and 9 millimetre cartridges.
1)There are exemptions in the case of (e) to (g) for holders who have a collector's condition.
2)There is an exemption in the case of (h) for the holder of a firearms certificate with a condition authorising the possession of this type of ammunition.
3)Advice on exemptions can be obtained from the Firearms Licensing Department.
10. Expanding ammunition
Ammunition designed to expand on impact is prohibited under section 5 and an exemption condition is required on certificates where it is acquired and possessed for:
(a)The lawful shooting of deer.
(b)Shooting vermin or, in connection with the management of any estate, other wildlife.
(c)The humane killing of animals.
(d)The shooting of animals for the protection of other animals or humans.
11. European Firearms Passes
If you intend to take firearms or shot guns to another European Union (EU) country, you require a European Firearms Pass (EFP). Firearms and shot guns are listed on the same EFP. All your guns will be listed unless you instruct otherwise. The EFP is valid to the date of whichever of your certificates expires first. You should write to the Firearms Licensing department, not less than ten working days before your date of departure, authorising the use of one of your photographs held on file. There is no fee for this service.
12. Article 7 authority
If you wish to purchase a firearm in another EU country you require an Article 7 authority. You should write to the Firearms Licensing department not less than ten working days before the date of your departure requesting it. No photograph is required, nor is there a fee for this service.
13. Processing your application
Once your application is received, a number of routine checks are conducted. You will then be contacted by a Firearms Enquiry Officer who will arrange an appointment visit for you to discuss where you wish to shoot and the security for your guns. He can also advise you on any shooting problems should you require it. All Firearms Enquiry Officers carry identification cards.
14. Further information
For more information on specific aspects of licensing firearms, please view the Home Office publication, ‘Firearms Law: Guidance to the Police’ (opens new window).
Thames Valley Police takes pride in its quality of service but acknowledges that misunderstanding may occur. The Firearms Manager is responsible for customer services. Any complaint should be directed to the Firearms Manager, Firearms Licensing Department, Thames Valley Police HQ, Oxford Road, Kidlington, OX5 2NX.