There are age restrictions for firearm and shotgun certificates. Please check these before starting your application.
Prison or suspended sentence
You can apply for a certificate five years after your release date if:
your prison stay (or suspended sentence) was less than three years and more than three months
You cannot apply for a certificate if:
your prison stay (or suspended sentence) was more than three years
What you need to apply
Before you start your application, there are some things you'll need to prepare in advance:
You’ll need to provide a passport-style photo of yourself.
Your photo must:
show your true likeness
show your full face without a head covering (unless for religious or medical reasons)
have a plain cream or grey background (without objects or people in the background)
look straight at the camera
have a neutral expression with your eyes open and mouth closed
not wear sunglasses or tinted glasses
not have 'red eye'
A digital photo must be used for online applications.
Your digital photo must:
be in .jpg or .jpeg format
be no larger than 1MB file size
We'll ask you for details of two referees (or one person if applying for a shotgun certificate).
You'll need to provide their
date of birth
place of birth
Please note, there are rules around who can act as your referee. Read the application guidance notes.
Your contact details, including:
work contact details (if not unemployed or retired)
previous addresses if you haven’t lived at your current address for more than five years
For information on how we handle data, read our application guidance notes.
You'll need to provide the following information:
details of any relevant conditions you need to disclose (you’ll find a list of those in the guidance notes)
your GP name, practice address, postcode, email and phone number
any previous GP or practice information (within the last 10 years)
if, during the last 10 years, there have been times when you haven’t been registered with a GP or practice in the UK, we’ll need to know about this and will ask why this was and if there is any information you can give us about this, for example, if you’re in the armed services and were posted abroad
your completed GP proforma - you'll need to download this and have your GP fill it in. Then submit it as part of your application. If submitting online, it should be in PDF or .jpeg/jpg format
If you're applying for a firearms certificate, we'll ask you for:
good reason for having
calibre and quantity of ammunition
how and where the firearm(s) will be stored
We'll ask you for details of any offences or written cautions, including the date (month and year).
Offences include speeding offences, but not parking offences or fixed penalty notices.