To apply for a firearm or shotgun licence, please complete the following steps. Any incomplete applications cannot be processed and will be returned.
Step 1) Download the GP report and submit to your GP for their completion.
You may be charged a fee for this by your GP. Your GP will signpost you to another GP within the same practice, locality or network if they feel they cannot complete the report for you.
Please make sure the completed GP report is sent by your GP, or yourself, to Greater Manchester Police before, or at the same time, you submit your application.
Step 2) Download the Referee Certification form and send it to your referee/s for them to complete. Ensure that your referee sends the completed form to Greater Manchester Police before you submit your application.
Step 3) Complete the Firearms / Shotgun application Form 201 as accurately as you can. It is an offence under section 28A(7) of the Firearms Act to knowingly or recklessly make a false statement for the purpose of procuring the grant or renewal of a certificate, the maximum penalty for which is six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine.
To avoid refusal or prosecution, we advise that you check your medical history before you complete the section on medical information, you must also declare all convictions and/or formal written police cautions, bindovers and spent convictions including those received outside of Great Britain.
If you are unsure about your conviction history you will need to apply to Greater Manchester Police for a Subject Access Request and submit the results of your Subject Access Request with your application. Further details about the Subject Access Request can be found here.
In making your application you sign a declaration which states the information you have provided on the form is true and that you understand your application cannot be progressed if you do not provided the required information, therefore it is your full responsibility to supply all the information required on the form.
Step 4) Complete the Occupants list
Step 5) When all 4 Steps have been completed, and your Referee/s have sent their certification form in, check over your documents and ensure the following are sent at the same time:
1 passport photograph, (signed on the back by yourself and print your name)
the appropriate fee
the 'Occupants List' form
Completed GP report (unless your GP has chosen to send this directly)
Subject Access Report (if applicable)
Please make sure all correspondence is sent to:
Greater Manchester Police Box 06 Nexus House Ashton-Under-Lyne OL7 0QP
Fees paid by cheque or postal order must be made payable to 'GMCA GMP'. We also accept telephone payments. Please put a covering note with your application requesting a call for payment if you prefer to pay that way.
Telephone payments will not be taken until your application has been checked for completeness.
*** We are experiencing a severe backlog at present which we are working hard to clear. Unless your enquiry is urgent we request that you refrain from chasing up your enquiry in order to allow us to clear the workload as soon as possible. Anticipated current turnaround times are 16 weeks ***
Renewals: It is your responsibility to check the expiry date on your certificate and submit your renewal application in good time. Current processing times mean that your renewal must be received with at least 16 weeks left on your existing licence. Applications received in the last 8 weeks of the existing licence expiry date cannot be offered a temporary permit and will result in you having to lodge your guns with a registered firearms dealer or other authorised person.
Please note: The ‘Occupants List’ and the ‘Referee Certification' forms are non-statutory; however in order that Greater Manchester Police can be satisfied that the public safety or peace is not in danger, these details are required to process your application.
Which certificate do you need?
To find out which certificate you need take a look at the table below to see how the characteristics of a gun, not its name, define the certificate.
Rifled barrel, firing ammunition
Shotgun or musket
Smooth bore, firing cartridges or blanks
Capable of holding more than three cartridges
Kinetic energy in excess of 12ft/lbs
There are some circumstances in which you can shoot without a certificate. For details, and to find out more about the UK firearms licensing laws, visit the UK government’s website.
For comprehensive information on storing and transporting firearms and shotguns, we recommend the UK Government’s Firearms security: a brief guide and Firearms security handbook.
Grant of firearm certificate
Renewal of firearm certificate
Variation of a firearm certificate (other than when it is renewed at the same time) to increase the number of firearms to which the certificate relates
Replacement of a firearm certificate lost or destroyed
Grant of a shotgun certificate
Renewal of a shotgun certificate
Replacement of a shotgun certificate lost or destroyed
Firearms and shotgun certificates valid for the same dates
Individual visitor's permit
Group visitors' permit (groups of six or more valid for the same dates)
Applications for visitors' firearms or shotgun permits must be submitted with the following documentation for each visitor:
European Union (EU) Visitors - copy of European Firearms Pass (EFP)
Non EU Visitors - either copies of current valid Firearm or Shotgun Licences, or the equivalent of a local Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check from their country
Currently it is not possible to submit these forms electronically. Faxed, photocopied or scanned copies of documents are acceptable. Where copies are not enclosed the permits will not be issued.
Applications for a Visitor’s Permit should be made at least 8 weeks prior to arrival in this Country. We cannot guarantee the issue of a visitors permit with less than 8 weeks notice.
A local criminal record check/certificate of good conduct from your country would assist the process.
Registering as a firearms dealer
If your business is connected with the buying, selling, manufacturing, testing or repairing of firearms, shotguns or ammunition you are required to register as a firearms dealer. This allows you to be in possession of firearms, shotguns or ammunition as part of your business without the need to comply with the requirements of a firearm or shotgun certificate in relation to notifications of acquisitions or, in the case of firearms, the need to obtain specific authorisation before you acquire them.
If you attend a game fair or agricultural show outside of the police area where your business is registered you have to register with the police for that area using Form 116.
If another place of business is required in the same area as your primary registered firearms dealer (RFD) certificate then Form 116a - Additional Premises application will need to be submitted. There is no fee for additional places of business in the same police area.
Land approval within ‘good reason’
Section 27(b) of the Firearms Act 1968 states that a chief officer of police shall grant or renew a firearms certificate if they are satisfied that the applicant has ‘good reason’ to possess, purchase or acquire the firearm or ammunition for which the application is made.
‘Good reason’ is demonstrated by the applicant showing that he or she has acceptable facilities to use the type of firearms concerned.
Target shooting Please enclose a copy of your club membership card or a letter from the club secretary confirming membership. You will be expected to be a full member.
Vermin/deer/sporting shooting If you do not own the land or the shooting rights on the land on which you intend to shoot, please enclose a copy of the authority regarding the land on which you wish to shoot. For example, if you have permission to use a .22 rifle on one piece of land and a .243 rifle on another piece of land, you will need two separate authorities.
Variations If you are applying for a variation to increase the number of guns in your possession, you will need to clarify your 'good reason' in wanting to purchase another rifle. Simply writing 'vermin control' or 'deer control' is not sufficient reason.
Transferring a firearm or shotgun
If you are transferring a weapon, you must complete the 'Notification of firearm or shotgun' form (see 'Downloads') to the Greater Manchester Police Firearms Licensing Unit.