August 11, 2022

Guide on firearms licensing law (accessible version) – GOV.UK

Chapter 1: An overview – frequently asked questions about firearms licensing

What is meant by the term ‘firearm’?

1.1 ‘Firearm’ means a lethal barrelled weapon of any description from which any shot, bullet or other missile with kinetic energy of more than one joule at the muzzle of the weapon, can be discharged.

See Chapter 2 for furt…….

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Chapter 1: An overview – frequently asked questions about firearms licensing

What is meant by the term ‘firearm’?

1.1 ‘Firearm’ means a lethal barrelled weapon of any description from which any shot, bullet or other missile with kinetic energy of more than one joule at the muzzle of the weapon, can be discharged.

See Chapter 2 for further details.

What are the basic principles of firearms law in GB?

1.2 GB firearms policy is based on the fact that firearms are dangerous weapons and the State has a duty to protect the public from their misuse. Gun ownership is a privilege, not a right. Firearms control in GB is among the toughest in the world and, as a result, firearms offences continue to make up a small proportion of recorded crime.

What kind of firearm can be held on certificate?

1.3 Some firearms and shot guns may be held on a firearm or shot gun certificate issued by the police. Low-powered air weapons are not licensed in England and Wales unless they are of a type declared specially dangerous by the Firearms (Dangerous Air Weapons) Rules 1969, but there are restrictions on their sale. An air weapon is “specially dangerous” if it is capable of discharging a missile with kinetic energy in excess, in the case of an air pistol, of 6 foot-pounds or, in the case of other air weapons,12 foot-pounds. “Specially dangerous” air pistols (and certain other air weapons) are prohibited weapons and may not be held on certificate.

See Chapters 10 and 11 (on firearm certificate procedure and shot gun certificate procedure) for further details.

Can anyone apply for a firearm certificate?

1.4 Permission to possess, purchase or acquire a firearm will only be granted to an individual who is assessed by the licensing authority, the police, as not posing a threat to public safety and having good reason to own the firearm. Organisations such as target shooting clubs, museums and firearms dealers must also apply for licences if they wish to possess or use firearms. Persons who are sentenced to a term of imprisonment of three years or more cannot possess a firearm or ammunition (including antique firearms) at any time.

See Chapters 10 and 11 (on firearm certificate procedure and shot gun certificate procedure) for further details.

Who authorises firearm and shot gun certificates?

1.5 The police are the licensing authority for firearm and shot gun certificates, as well as for firearms dealers. The authority rests with local police forces rather than a central licensing authority because of the local information that police will use to inform their judgement. Applications for authority to possess prohibited weapons, such as handguns, in England and Wales are …….

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/firearms-law-guidance-to-the-police-2012/guide-on-firearms-licensing-law-accessible-version