Application forms

To assist in the process of your renewal application please include a copy of your current firearm and /or shotgun certificate.

Fees paid by cheque should be made payable to Thames Valley Police

Application paperwork packages require a ‘Large Letter’ rate postage fee.

1. Applications for Firearms and Shotgun Certificates

You are advised to submit your application for the renewal of your firearms and /or shotgun within 60 working days before the expiry of your current certificate. This time frame allows us to process renewal applications in accordance with the legislation and Home Office Guidance.

Please note that if your application is not received within this time frame, we are not able to guarantee that we will be able to process your application prior to its expiry date and would therefore advise you to seek alternative storage arrangements to prevent you from being in unlawful possession of your guns.

Failure to submit your application before the expiry date will mean your application will be treated as a grant rather than a renewal and a further fee will be payable.

European Firearms Passes

If you intend to take firearms or shotguns to another European Union (EU) country, you require a European Firearms Pass (EFP). Firearms and shotguns 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 or email your request to the Firearms Licensing department, not less than twenty 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.

Processing your firearms/ shotgun application

On receipt of the application the following process applies:

  • checks carried out on the applicant /referees
  • application passed to Firearms Enquiry Officer (FEO)
  • FEO contacts applicant to arrange appointment
  • FEO visits applicant and carries out full enquiry
  • enquiry returned to Firearms Licensing Unit
  • application is processed, certificate produced and
    • if security checked and suitable on first visit, certificate posted to applicant
    • if further security was advised, certificate is passed to FEO who will visit, check security and hand over certificate.

Further information

For more information on specific aspects of licensing firearms, please view the Home Office publication (PDF 995 Kb - opens new window) .


Thames Valley Police takes pride in its quality of service but acknowledges that misunderstandings may occur. The Firearms Manager is responsible for customer services. Any complaint should be directed to

The Firearms Manager

Police Headquarters
OX5 2NX.

Application for grant or renewal of a Firearm and/or Shotgun Certificate

View Firearm/Shotgun application form (can be completed online and then downloaded for submission) (PDF 1.65 Mb - opens new window)*

View Firearm Variation form (can be completed online and then downloaded for submission) (PDF 999 Kb - opens new window)

Applications for a Visitor’s Firearms/Shotgun Permit

View Visitor’s Firearms/Shotgun Permit application form (please download before completion and submission) (PDF 44 Kb - opens new window)

Application to become a Registered Firearms Dealer

View RFD grant/renewal application form (please download before completion and submission) (PDF 31 Kb - opens new window)

Application for another place of business

View RFD (other place of business) application form (please download before completion and submission) (PDF 27 Kb - opens new window)

Explosives Applications

The following legislation has been repealed:

  • Control of Explosives Regulations 1991 (COER)
  • Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005 (MSER)
  • The Placing on the Market and Supervision of Transfers of Explosives Regulations 1993 (POMSTER)

The old legislation has (with some modifications) been replaced by one act The Explosives Regulations 2014. This act came into force on the 1st October 2014.

Explosive Certificates

The two main types of explosive certificate are:

Acquire Only

This allows you to acquire a defined amount of explosives from an approved supplier and use it on that day. Any unused explosive must either be returned to the supplier or destroyed in an approved manner. Acquire & Keep

This allows you to stores explosives at a location for the duration of the certificate. The maximum amount of explosives that may be stored will depend on the nature of the explosives and the construction of the store.

A Registered Competent Authority document (RCA) allowing you to transport the explosives is issued as part of the explosive certificate.

If you are applying for the grant or renewal of a certificate you should use one of the following forms:

ER 4 (replaces COER1) - should be used by:

  • Clubs, Societies or any body corporate; or
  • The explosives are not used in firearms or shotguns;
  • Individuals who are not covered by the criteria for a ER 4A

View ER4 application form (can be completed online and then downloaded for submission) (PDF 419 Kb - opens new window)

ER 4A (replaces COER1a) - should be used by individuals for

  • Their own use in their Firearms or Shotguns; or
  • The possession of shooters’ powders at re-enactment events.

View ER4A application form (can be completed online and then downloaded for submission) (PDF 294 Kb - opens new window)

ER 4B (replaces COER1b)

If you are renewing an explosives certificate, either Acquire Only or an Acquire & Keep for Black Powder only and  AT THE SAME TIME renewing a firearm or shotgun certificate or renewing a registered firearms dealership you may use an ER 4B.

View ER4B application form (can be completed online and then downloaded for submission) (PDF 284 Kb - opens new window)

Explosive Store Licence

ER 2  (replaces MSER 3 application.) should be used for applications to store of explosives

In certain circumstances, depending on the hazard type and the amount of explosives to be kept, it may be necessary for the store to be licensed.

If you know this to be a case, please download the form below. If you are not sure, please contact the department for advice. A fee is normally charged for licensed stores.

If you wish to store more than 2000kg of explosives, you should make your application to the Health and Safety Executive.

View ER2 application form (please download before completion and submission) (PDF 179 Kb - opens new window)

Please return all completed forms together with the appropriate fees to:

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