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Prohibited persons

When a person applies for a firearm or shotgun certificate, the Chief Officer of Police must be satisfied that the applicant is a fit and proper person to be entrusted with firearms.

This means that certain checks are carried out to enable as much information to be available when making a decision as to whether, in the interests of public safety, the application should be approved or rejected.

Checks on previous convictions are carried out as are local police checks. Areas such as domestic violence are also taken into account. These checks are always made at the point of application for either a grant or renewal of certificate. Checks are also made on a daily basis of all those persons who are arrested to identify certificate holders whose continued suitability to hold a certificate may be called into question.

There are certain prohibitions from the possession of firearms (including shotguns, antique firearms and air weapons). This means that certain people are not only prohibited from possessing their own guns but would also be prohibited, for example, to take part in clay pigeon shoots, or from possession of guns on a shooting range. In simple terms, the following applies:

  • Any person sentenced to serve between three months and three years, (or who has been given a suspended sentence of this duration) is prohibited from possessing any firearm for a period of five years.
  • Any person sentenced to serve a prison sentence of three years or more is prohibited as above for life
    (These prohibitions may be is lifted on appeal to a Crown Court).

Both firearm and shotgun application forms require the applicant to disclose previous convictions. It is an offence under the Firearms Act to make a false declaration when answering this question.

So far as previous convictions are concerned, it does not stand that applicants with previous convictions are automatically refused. It really does depend on the type of convictions and each application is taken and assessed on its own merits.

If an applicant does have convictions, but cannot remember the full details, please ensure that you tick the ‘YES’ box and provide as many details as possible.