A Simple Guide to Getting Your Shotgun Certificate

Below we have created a short guide on how to apply for and receive the successful grant of your shotgun certificate.

A shotgun certificate does not require “good reason” to obtain and should be considered a “right” or “shall issue” as the onus is on the certification authority to find a reason to refuse issue. Therefore unless you have a criminal record or serious medical problems the application should be a formality.

However that said there are certain steps you could take that should improve the process and ease any concerns a Firearms Enquiry Officer may have.

Things that can help

1, Learn the basic rules of firearms safety

  • Always assume a firearm is loaded and check it is unloaded/make safe
  • Never point it at anything you do not wish to damage or destroy
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire
  • Always be sure of the target and what is beyond

2, Gain experience Try to go shooting with a friend to gain some experience and familiarity with safety and handling.

3, Know the law show that you have a good understanding of the law as some Firearms Officers can be new to the job and may be unaware of certain things.

4, be polite and professional

Things to consider

1, Security – Consider your home security and what if any improvements can be made, the more secure your property the better.

2, Gun safe – some may recommend waiting until you have had your interview but if you are confident it is best to purchase one to the relevant British Standard and if possible fit to a wall in a room not often accessed by visitors, preferably out of sight. The safe should be bolted securely to a solid wall or to the floor of your home.

3, Ammunition – In the case of shotguns ammunition does not need to be stored in a separate lockable container, however, it may be recommended you purchase a safe with such a compartment in case you wish to obtain a FAC in the future as section 1 ammunition does need to be stored separately.


1, Cost – A Shotgun Grant currently costs £79.50. Usually, you pay by Cheque, sent with your application.

2, Application Form – You’ll need to fill in their Application for the grant or renewal of a Firearm and/or Shotgun Certificate form. When applying for just a shotgun certificate you do skip a few sections. Most Police forces will allow you to download an application form from their websites but do ring your local Firearms Licensing department if you’re having trouble finding it. Make sure you read the form in detail and make sure you understand everything, if you don’t, ask someone. Do not lie or hide anything on this form.

3, Referees – The Police will also ask for details of a suitable person who has known you for at least two years and has agreed to act as a referee for you – you only need one for a Shotgun Certificate.

4, Photos – Get yourself four passport style photos done, sign one of them in ink.

5, GP Letter – You’ll need to also download this form/letter, fill in the relevant areas and sign.

Now package everything off in recorded delivery (minimum) to your local Firearms Licensing.

Applications are known to take anywhere from 2 weeks to 9 months depending on your local force. It’s best speaking to your local Firearms Licensing to get an idea of turn around.

You should be contacted soon after applying by your local Firearms Enquiry  Officer who will arrange to come out for a visit and interview.

Don’t forget you can get a co-terminus SGC and FAC if you’d like both. It will save you money on grant and renewal to get them at the same time.

Additional Information

Unlike the FAC you do not need to apply for a variation to purchase additional shotguns and you can freely purchase as many as your safe is rated to hold. The chief constable of your area must be informed of each transaction, however.

A fellow SGC holder may borrow a shotgun for up to 72 hours before having to enter it on his certificate.

©2022 Firearms UK.


We're not around right now. However, you can send us an email and we'll get back to you.


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?