Frequently asked questions

Can I try shooting without holding a certificate?

You may be able to shoot under certain circumstances which include:

  • At an organised clay pigeon shoot whereby a Section 11(6) permit has been granted, which allows non-certificate holders to shoot. Approved rifle and muzzle loading clubs will allow you to shoot club guns providing you are a club member. There are normally provisions within the club rules for non-members to become 'guests', sponsored by a club member and to use club firearms to shoot on a limited number of days
  • Section 11(5) of the Firearms Act 1968, allows you, without holding a shotgun certificate, to use a shotgun when you are accompanied by the occupier of the land (landowner or holder of sole shooting rights) to shoot on his land using a shotgun borrowed from the occupier
  • Section 16(1) of the Firearms Act 1968 (as amended) allows a person to borrow a firearm from the occupier of private premises and use it in the presence of either the occupier or their servant without holding a firearm certificate in respect of the rifle

What do I do if I change address?

Conditions on your certificate state that you must notify in writing a change of permanent address. Please send in a letter to the Firearms Licensing Department who issued your certificate informing us of the new address and contact telephone number as you will require a security visit in order to be given a new certificate.

If your guns are still being kept at your old address you still need to notify that you have moved.

How do I transfer a gun?

Before you transfer any gun you must ensure that the person you wish to transfer the gun to has a valid certificate authorising them to acquire that particular type of gun. Only original certificates should be accepted not photocopies.

In the case of a Section 1 firearm, the person must be authorised to acquire that particular calibre of gun. A sound moderator is classed as a firearm and requires authority on your certificate before it can be acquired. You must then complete the rear of that person's certificate in the boxes provided giving details of the transfer and then notify the Firearms and Explosives Licensing Department who issued your certificate, in writing, that you have transferred the gun. The notification should be sent to the Firearms and Explosives Licensing Department within seven days. There is no need to send in your certificate.

How do I dispose of an unwanted gun?

If you wish to dispose of a gun you can take it to your local police station during office hours where the gun can be surrendered for destruction. No fee is charged for this service. Firearms which are held on certificates should not be disposed of by the certificate holder without informing the Firearms Licensing Department who issued the certificate.

What should I do if I unexpectedly come into possession of firearms or shotguns?

It could be that your partner, who held a certificate for the gun, has died suddenly or a member of your family who held a certificate has died. Contact the Firearms Licensing Department as soon as possible and they will arrange for a temporary permit to be issued. This will enable you to legally dispose of the gun(s) or to place them in storage, either with a gun shop or with someone who has a certificate, pending your application for a certificate.

If you have moved house and found un-licensed guns at your new address, do not handle them as they may still be loaded. Contact your nearest police station and arrange for an officer to visit and make them safe.

If the guns are left to you in a will, the executor of the estate should obtain the necessary authority (temporary permit) for the guns to be taken to a Registered Firearms Dealer for storage pending your application for the required certificate to possess that type of weapon.

Can I import or export a firearm or shotgun?

To permanently import or export firearms will normally require the grant of a licence from the Department of Trade and Industry.

The import and export of firearms is a complex subject and advice should be sought from the following:

Import Export Department of Trade and Industry Import Licensing Branch
Queensway House
West Precinct
TS23 2NF

Tel: 01642 364351
Fax: 01642 364269

For more information on importing firearms, visit the the Foreign Commonwealth Office website or write to:

Department of Trade and Industry Export Licensing
Unit 4 Abbey Orchard Street

Tel: 020 7215 8070
Fax: 020 7215 0558

For more information on exporting firearms, visit the Export Control Organisation.

For information on European firearms if there's no Brexit deal please see

Contact us

The Firearms and Explosive Licensing department is responsible for the administration of the Firearms Acts 1968 to 1997 and relevant explosives legislation.

All enquiries in relation to applications for firearm, shotgun and explosive certificates and other related certification, are completed by a team of authorised dedicated civilian Firearms Licensing Enquiry Officers.

Enquiry Officers are allocated to specific areas within Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and assists the force in providing a consistent approach to the administration of firearms licensing matters.

If you wish to contact an enquiry officer in relation to an application or a general enquiry, please write to us at:

Firearms and Explosives Licensing Department
Criminal Justice
Mansfield House
74 Belgrave Gate
Tel: 01162 484333
Mon-Fri, 8am to 4pm