The application process
Once a correctly completed application is received by Warrants and Firearms Licensing a receipt will be sent within seven days for any fee paid. Any incorrectly completed application will be returned with guidance on how to correct mistakes.
An appointment availability form will be sent to the applicant requesting a suitable date for a Firearms Enquiry Officer (FEO) to visit your home and discuss your application. In the days leading up to your appointment we will contact you, to give you a time slot which will be between the hours of 9am and 5pm.
When completing the appointment availability form, please provide as many dates and times as possible. Every effort will be made to accommodate your personal circumstances, though this may not always be possible.
When the FEO visits you at home, there will be certain checks they need to conduct.
Firstly, they will want to inspect your safe storage facilities. The following methods of security are acceptable:
· Home Office approved gun cabinet
· Secure gun room
· Gun clamp (one firearm only)
· Gun cables
The officer will inspect firearms held at an address. This is to confirm that details of firearms held match those on the National Firearms Licensing Management System and conform to the relevant legislation.
Secondly, the FEO will conduct and interview the applicant to determine their suitability to hold a certificate. This is likely to include some very personal questions about family relationships, previous contact with the police, medical conditions and other relevant lifestyle factors. Please do not be offended by the questions the FEO will ask, as these are a normal part of fulfilling the Home Office suitability criteria and asked of every applicant.
The answers given to questions during the interview and on the application form must be true, to the best of the applicants knowledge, as failure to disclose relevant factors is a criminal offence under the Firearms Act.
After the visit, the FEO will submit a report to the Firearms Licensing Management team who will make the final decision on whether to grant a certificate. The Warrants and Firearms Manager and Assistant Manager make most decisions, however in some cases it is necessary to refer a decision to a Superintendent or Chief Superintendent.
The Warrants and Firearms administrators will produce a certificate from the National Firearms Licensing Management System, based on the recommendations made by the FEO. The Warrants and Firearms Manager or Assistant Manager will make the final decision to grant the application and review the certificate.
Certificates are issued by first class post.
We aim to ensure a certificate renewal is completed prior to the expiry of an existing certificate, where the application was made at least 8 weeks’ (56 days) before renewal. Application packs are sent out between 16 and 20 weeks before the expiry date and we ask applications to return them promptly.