Applying for Your First Shotgun / Firearm Licence Norgas Gun & Cartridge Co. Gun Room Staff are always on hand:

• To offer guidance and advice in the completion of any Shotgun or Firearms Application form.
• To ensure that forms are correctly completed and relevant inclusion requirements are present
• Guide and advise you through the entire application process to minimise delays.

How do I go about it ?

Section 1 refers to rifles “Firearms”, whilst Section 2 refers to “Shotguns”. As yet Air Rifles and Air pistols DO NOT require any form of licence in England or Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own laws regarding Air powered firearms .

In the first instance you need to download an application form which will need to be completed and forwarded to your County Police Firearms Licensing Department, you can normally find this on their website, along with details of application fees, currently £75.00.

You will also find the forms and other useful information on the BASC website.

We highly recommend that you join BASC prior to sending in your application.

On receipt of your application the Police will do their various background checks before contacting you to make an appointment to coming out to Interview you, and check your home security arrangements; they may also want to talk to anyone else who lives with you, over the age of eighteen. This is simply to make sure no one has any objection to you having a license or shotguns in the house.

The Police Official who will come out and interview you is known as a Firearms Enquiry Officer (FEO). Once they have completed their enquiries they will complete a report for the Firearms Licensing Manager to consider prior to granting or refusing your application. The length of time varies across the country and often fluctuates between about 3 to 6 months.

We recommend that you use this time to acquire and install your gun cabinet and take a few lessons with a qualified shotgun coach. Please contact our coaching team for further details.

Your license will run for five years, unless it is revoked during that time; at renewal the process is very similar to above, and you should apply for your renewal at least two months prior to your renewal date. If you’re existing license runs out prior to your new license being granted you will be required to transfer or surrender your shotguns to a license holder, or Registered Firearms Dealer until such time as your new license is granted. Norgas Gun & Cartridge Co. are Registered Firearms Dealers and will be happy to advise on all aspects of gun storage etc.

Not all Police Forces are the same; they review and change their processes from time to time so the above should be taken as a guide only.

Am I likely to be approved for a Shotgun License?

Most applications are successful without a hitch, however it's probably easier to state the circumstances as dictated by Law.

Section 21 of the Firearms Act 1968.

If you have been sentenced to imprisonment, detention or corrective training for a term of three years or more, you are permanently prohibited from having any firearms or ammunition in your possession. This means for life and includes all firearms, even air weapons.

If you have been sentenced to imprisonment, detention or corrective training for a period of over three months but less than three years you are prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition for five years from date of your release.

When you apply for your license you must disclose all convictions including motoring and anything that you have been convicted of abroad.

You should not be considered a danger to the public or have intemperate habits; you will be of sound mind and be trustworthy and have good reason to possess a shotgun, in the eyes of your local Police Force

If you have a “past” this does not automatically mean the Police will refuse your application, other than the aforementioned reasons. All applications are considered individually on their merits or otherwise.

What can I expect when the Firearms Enquiry Officer comes to interview me?

As previously mentioned all Police Forces are not the same so this should be taken as a guide.

You should be able to answer the most obvious question, why you are applying for a Shotgun License; you should also be able to demonstrate that you have some understanding about shotguns. This will cover safety and security aspects of shotguns as well as their use.

It will be very helpful if you have completed at least the Introductory Shotgun Lesson at Rixton & Astley Shooting Club. You will receive a certificate to prove that you undertook the training; thus proving that you are serious about your application.

The FEO will expect you to have done research and learning, and that the application has not just been completed on a whim.

You should be able to answer questions about your past, remember, they may already know the answers to the questions, and they would not be interviewing you in the first place if they were going to refuse you, so be honest.


What security measures do I have to put in place?

Once again, different Police Forces will have slightly different views and the property where you live could also have an impact, flats may be viewed as a higher risk than a detached house, equally living in a built up area may have different risk to a rural location.

You will need a Gun Cabinet built to British Standard 7558, (OR provide the details of other security arrangements be it a another Licence Holder or a Club) Norgas Gun & Cartridge usually have a good selection of new and pre owned gun cabinets available.

In the case of a cabinet at home it must be attached securely to internal brickwork where it needs to be out of sight and this must be attached securely to an outside or supporting wall. The safe needs to be placed out of sight, such as under stairs, in the loft or at the back of a walk in wardrobe.

The placement of such in an out building such as a garage or other building outside of the house is generally not permitted.

Your guns must be kept in the safe at all times, when they are in your house, and only you, the license holder, may have keys to that safe. You must keep the keys with you at all times, you have a duty of care and to allow anyone else access, who does not possess a license, you would be failing in your duty and give possible reason for your license to be revoked.

When carrying your gun in your car it should be out of sight, and if you need to leave your car unattended for any period of time you should lock your car and take part of the gun with you, possibly the fore-end or stock. You have to take all reasonable care to make sure your gun can not fall into the wrong hands in any circumstances.

What type of gun should I buy?

There are numerous manufacturers of shotguns and each manufacturer have their own unique selling points. The right gun for you will depend upon your stature, whether you are looking to shoot game or clays. So it is important to take these into account and take the right advice.

Other aspects will be your own budget and possibly the aesthetics of the gun itself. Don’t rush into making a decision, take advice and where possible try the gun before you buy. All new guns will last a lifetime, if you take care of it, and spending more money does not mean that you will hit any more targets.

We will also show you how to clean and take care of your new gun purchased in store.


Should I have lessons?

Yes, it is important that you know the basics, a good grounding in safe gun handling, as well as providing a good foundation as you progress. All too often people will buy a gun and shoot hundreds of rounds and miss more than they hit. Good instruction is an invaluable investment and receiving the right coaching and education provides a massive reward on your new found hobby.

As your shooting improves it is likely you will reach a plateau or come across nemesis targets, then is the time to book a further coaching session. Many clubs will offer a series of to take you through those early days, always remember to practice in-between. Please ask our coaching staff for further details.



It is vital to carry insurance, this is something you can arrange independently through brokers, although we strongly recommend that you join BASC
If you would like any further information or guidance then please do not hesitate to contact us.





Rixton and Astley Shooting Club Ltd

M29 7EW

Contact John on 07785 995526