To apply for a firearm or shotgun licence, read this information carefully and then download the appropriate form from the ‘Downloads’ section below.

Download and print the required form, (it cannot be saved for later), and complete by hand. Please check you have signed it and enclosed the necessary items before sending:

  • completed Firearms / Shotgun application 'Form 201'
  • 1 passport photograph, (signed on the back by yourself and print your name)
  • the appropriate fee
  • the 'Occupants List' form 

You also need to download the referee certification form (see Downloads below) and ask your nominated referee(s) to complete it.

Please make sure all correspondence is sent to:

Greater Manchester Police
Box 06
Nexus House
Ashton-Under-Lyne
OL7 0QP

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.

Gun type

Characteristics

Firearm certificate

Shotgun certificate

Firearm

Rifled barrel, firing
ammunition

 ✓

 

Shotgun or musket

Smooth bore, firing
cartridges or blanks

 

 ✓

Multi-shot shotgun

Capable of holding more than three cartridges

 ✓

 

Air rifle

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. 

Firearms certificates

Grant of firearm certificate £88
Renewal of firearm certificate £62
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 £20
Replacement of a firearm certificate lost or destroyed £4

Shotgun certificates

Grant of a shotgun certificate £79.50
Renewal of a shotgun certificate £49
Replacement of a shotgun certificate lost or destroyed £4

Coterminous certificates

Firearms and shotgun certificates valid for the same dates

Coterminous grant £90
Coterminous renewal £65

Visitors' permits

Individual visitor's permit £20
Group visitors' permit (groups of six or more valid for the same dates) £100

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.

Please note all applications will be checked on receipt. Incomplete applications will not be accepted and will be returned to you in their entirety by tracked signed for mail. If you have submitted a cheque that will also be returned. 

To help reduce the processing time of your application, please arrange for a GP letter confirming if you do, or do not, have any of the relevant medical conditions (as  defined on page 13 of the application form) to be submitted  by your GP to Greater Manchester Police at the same time as your application.

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.

Renewals

A renewal reminder letter will be sent out between 14 and 16 weeks before the expiry date of the current certificate. Prompt submission of a correctly completed application form and other required documents will reduce the time a renewal application takes to process. Submission of a renewal application within the last 8 weeks before expiry date will result in you having to lodge your guns with a registered firearms dealer or other authorised person.

Visitors' permits

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.

Downloads