Providing there are no issues in respect of your application, e.g. medical concerns, previous convictions etc. then we try to process all applications within 12 -15 weeks of receipt.

Please refer to the following link: Licensing Fees

PCC for Dyfed Powys / Police & Crime Commissioner for Dyfed Powys

Firearm 5 years
Shotgun 5 years
Explosives Acquire 1 year
Explosives Acquire & keep 3 years

Not unless they hold either a certificate or a permit in their own right for the firearm or shotgun.

A person who has been sentenced to custody for life, or to a term of imprisonment of three years or more will be prohibited for life from possessing a firearm/shotgun, this includes air weapons and antique firearms. 

A person who is sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 3 months or more but less than three years will prohibit that individual for five years from the date of their release.  

A person who is subject of a suspended sentence of 3 months or more will become a prohibited person from the second day after the date on which the sentence has been passed, the prohibition will remain in place for 5 years from the date of sentence.  

It is an offence to sell or transfer firearms and ammunition to a person you have grounds to believe may be prohibited

A number of organisations notably banks/building societies and phone companies, include firearm and shotgun certificates as an acceptable form of identification. However this has obvious security implications and certificate holders would be well advised to refrain from using their certificates for anything other than their intended purpose.

Inform the relevant firearms team immediately and report it to a local police station. A fee of £4 is payable for a new shotgun and/or firearm Certificate.

Air rifles which have a kinetic energy over 12 Ft lbs of muzzle energy are required to be held on a Firearm Certificate.

Firearms Licensing Department, 
Dyfed Powys Police, 
Police Headquarters, 
P.O.Box 99, 
SA31 2PF

Yes, including all traffic convictions and any offences committed abroad. For more information please see: Disclosure of Convictions.

Firearms legislations requires that all notifications must be sent to the Firearms Licensing Department within 7 days of the transaction date, including sales/acquisitions from abroad; we also accept facsimile notifications as long as they are a good quality copy, and by e-mail. Transfer of Firearm / Shotgun Form may assist you.

You are advised to contact either your local Police or Firearms Licensing Authority as soon as possible. Avoid placing yourself in danger or in jeopardy.

If you find unlicensed weapons, for instance discovering them in your loft having just moved into a new address, do not handle them - they could be loaded and in a dangerous condition. Immediately call your local police who will remove them safely and dispose of them for you.

If you are left with firearms that you know had been legally held (this could be due to the death of a Certificate holder, who was a close relative) you have several options.

  • Temporary Permit - You could request a permit to allow lawful access to the weapons in order to give you time to decide the best means of disposal. The Police are empowered in such circumstances to issue a Temporary Permit, which would normally be restricted to possession only (not use) and be valid for a limited period of time, usually a month, but in certain circumstances can be longer. To request this, you need to contact the Firearms Licensing authority.
  • Registered Firearms Dealer - You could arrange for them to be placed with a Registered Firearms Dealer for storage and/or sale.
  • Certificate Holder - You may know of other Certificate Holders to whom they may be transferred (this would depend on them having sufficient storage and, in the case of guns that had been held on a Firearms Certificate, the authority to acquire that particular type of weapon).
  • Deactivation - Another alternative is to have the weapons ‘deactivated’, which would render them safe and remove them from all legislation relating to firearms. They would still retain the original appearance but would be incapable of discharging a missile.

Reminders are sent out to renew certificates 12 weeks prior to expiry. The onus remains on the certificate holder to ensure that the application form is submitted to the Firearms Licensing Department within good time, to allow sufficient time to process the application before the certificate expires. It is recommended that your application is submitted no less than 8 weeks prior to the expiry date for this to occur. 

Should an applicant fail to submit their application form in sufficient time to allow the application to be processed before the date of expiry, then the onus will be on them to lodge their firearms with a registered firearm dealer or other authorised person, to prevent them being in unlawful possession of firearms.

Where an application to renew is sent to the Licensing department 8 weeks or more prior to the date of expiry then the firearms department will generate a temporary permit until such time as the certificate is renewed.

Conditions on your certificate state that you must notify a change in permanent address without undue delay. You must send your certificate to the Firearms Licensing Department together with a covering letter providing details of your new address/security location.

The word 'antique' is not defined anywhere in the Firearms Acts. To understand what is considered antique it may be useful to know that ‘modern’ firearms are those which have been manufactured during or since the Second World War.

 Some old firearms are capable of firing a modern centre fire cartridge and therefore not classified as an antique. Every firearm will be judged on its own merits but the following may be used as a guideline:


  • All muzzle loading firearms, except replica models of modern manufacture
  • Breech loading firearms capable of discharging a rim fire cartridge exceeding .23” calibre (or its metric equivalent), but not 9mm
  • Breech loading firearms using ignition systems other than rim fire or centre fire, e.g. pin-fire and needle-fire
  • Breech loading firearms incapable of firing a centre fire cartridge

Not Antique:

  • Breech loading firearms capable of firing either centre fire cartridges, rim fire cartridges not exceeding .23” (or its metric equivalent) 9mm cartridges
  • All firearms of ‘modern’ manufacture – even if they are replicas or very old flintlocks, etc.
  • All ammunition

If the firearm is determined to be antique, it is no longer subject to the provisions of the Firearms Acts, providing it is kept as an object of curiosity or as an ornament.

No ammunition can be classified as antique and the possession of suitable ammunition, for use with an otherwise antique firearm, may indicate that the firearm is not possessed simply as an ornament.

For more information please see: Antiques

If you are the holder of a shotgun or firearms certificate and you wish to take your weapons abroad within the EEC, you will need a European Firearms Permit (EFP). The EFP is issued free of charge, upon written application to your Firearms Licensing Department. You will need to specify what weapons you will be taking with you, as well as which countries you require it for. A European Firearms Pass cannot have an expiry date later than the expiry date on the firearms or shotgun certificate on which the weapons are held. You may also need to send us a current photograph of yourself when you request an EFP, depending on whether there are any spare photographs available on your file.

Before taking your weapons abroad, seek advice from the embassy or consulate of that country. Even with the EEC other documents may be required in addition to the European Firearms Permit. All weapons must be declared to customs and to the travel company carrying you, whether by land sea or air.

Holders of British firearms and shotgun certificates, who wish to take their firearms to Northern Ireland, should be aware that a valid certificate of approval, from the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is also required. Air weapons are also required to be licensed in Northern Ireland, and the same approval granted by the Chief Constable of the PSNI is necessary. Advice on obtaining this approval can be found on the PSNI website.

Under Section 17 of the 1988 Act, a visitor to Great Britain may, if granted a visitor’s permit, have in their possession firearms, shotguns or ammunition without holding a certificate.

The holder of a visitor’s firearms permit may have in their possession (but cannot purchase) any firearm and they may purchase acquire or have in their possession any ammunition to which section 1 of the 1968 Act applies.

The holder of a visitor’s shotgun permit may have in their possession, purchase or acquire shotguns and is exempt from the requirement to produce a shotgun certificate when purchasing cartridges.

Both permits are valid for up to 12 months and must show the full details of weapons covered and, in the case of a firearms permit, details of the quantity of ammunition to be purchased/acquired and held. Territorial and other such conditions that would appear on a normal firearm certificate, will usually be imposed on a visitors permit. Separate permits for different Police Force areas are not required as visitor’s permits cover the visitor throughout Great Britain. 

It is the responsibility of the visitor to ensure that the firearms they intend to travel with comply with British Firearms Legislation.

Applications for visitor’s permits for both firearms and shotguns must be made on Application for a Visitor’s Firearm / Shot Gun Permit Form (Form 107).

Applications must be made on behalf of the visitor by a nominated sponsor.  The application should be made to the Chief Officer of Police where the sponsor is resident. In most cases a private sponsor will be a certificate holder, but this is not a requirement.

The sponsor may be a private individual, or may make the application in the capacity of a club, shooting syndicate, country estate or shooting organisation.

Group applications can be made for parties of between six and 20 people provided they are all shooting at the same location and at the same time, or are participating in the same event or competition. In such circumstances a reduced fee is available. Click here for Licensing Fees.

Applications should be made well in advance of the required date, to allow the proper enquiries to be made. The information required must be provided by the Sponsor, to whom all enquiries will be made.

Criteria for granting a permit:

To grant a permit the Chief Officer of Police must be satisfied that the applicant is visiting or intends to visit Great Britain and either:

  • In the case of a visitor’s firearm permit, have good reason for having each firearm and the ammunition to which the permit relates in his possession, or, in the case of ammunition, for purchasing or acquiring it while a visitor is in Great Britain.
  • In the case of a visitor’s shotgun permit, the applicant has a good reason for having each shotgun to which the permit relates in his possession, or for purchase or acquiring it, while they are a visitor in Great Britain.

A Chief Officer of Police will not grant a permit to any person if he or she has reason to believe that:

  • Their possessing weapons or ammunition would present a danger to the public safety or to the peace
  • They are prohibited from possessing such weapons or ammunition

When a permit is granted it will be sent to the sponsor who should forward it to the visitor in their country of origin, for presentation to customs on arrival in Great Britain. A visitor’s permit will be accepted in lieu of a Department of Trade & Industry import licence. Failure to produce the permit at the time of importation may lead to the firearms / shotguns being detained or seized.

Members of EU countries must be in possession of a European Firearms Pass which must be forwarded to the Firearms Licensing Department with the application submitted by the Sponsor, and will be returned with the permit.

Yes but only under certain circumstances. Many Clay Target Shotgun Clubs and some Registered Firearms Dealers hold special open days when non-certificate holders can fire club shotguns to test their interest in the sport. The club or dealer must have a Section 11(6) permit, issued by the police, which allows this activity to occur.

 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 which allow non-members to become guests, sponsored by a club member, and to use club weapons to shoot on a limited number of days.

Another way to shoot shotguns and even rifles without a certificate is when you are accompanied by the landowner or his agent, (e.g. gamekeeper), shooting on his land, using his weapons, within the limitations of the authorities on the certificate for that weapon. As a non-certificate holder however, you cannot borrow another person’s gun, if that person is not the owner or occupier of the land you intend to shoot on. 

Conventional air guns, air rifles and air pistols do not require the owner or user to hold a firearms certificate, unless they are of a type declared especially dangerous by the Firearms, (Dangerous Air Weapons) Rules 1969.

The Rules provide that any air weapon is especially dangerous, if it is capable of discharging a missile with a kinetic energy in excess of:

  • 6 ft/lbs – in the case of an air pistol
  • 12tf/lbs – in the case of an air weapon other than an air pistol

Air weapons exceeding these prescribed limits can only be lawfully held on a firearms certificate and are subject to all the rules and regulations pertaining to all Section 1 Firearms.

If you possess a shotgun, legally held on a shotgun certificate, and you decide that you no longer wish to keep it, there are various options regarding its disposal.

You can:

  • Sell, give or transfer its ownership to another shotgun certificate holder who has adequate safe storage for the weapon
  • Sell, give or transfer ownership to a Registered Firearms Dealer
  • Surrender it at any police station, from where it will usually go for destruction, unless it is of particular historical interest. In the latter case it could be given to a museum or other interested official party
  • Have the weapon deactivated, after which it ceases to be a "firearm" within the meaning of the Acts. Consequently it no longer falls within the restrictions imposed on "firearms" by any of the Firearms Acts and Regulations.
  • Deactivation must be done officially and proved at one of the proof houses that issue the weapon with a deactivation certificate and also proof mark it. This renders the weapon incapable of being fired and incapable of being converted back to a firing condition.
  • You cannot deactivate a weapon yourself, for instance by filling in the barrel or filing off the firing pin. In such circumstances the weapon will still remain a "firearm" and must be held on a certificate. Deactivation must be carried out by a qualified gunsmith in order to meet the standard necessary for proofing. If you hold weapons on a firearms certificate, the scenario is slightly different with regard to selling, giving or transferring them to another firearms certificate holder.

If you hold weapons on a firearms certificate, the scenario is slightly different with regard to selling, giving or transferring them to another firearms certificate holder.

Unlike shotguns, firearms certificate holders can only possess those firearms authorised on their certificate. Before transferring firearms to another firearms certificate holder therefore, you must ensure that their certificate carries the authority for the calibre and weapon in question.

No such restrictions generally apply to Registered Firearms Dealers, except possibly in respect of Section 5 (prohibited) weapons. Even Registered Firearms Dealers need special authorisation from the Home Office to handle prohibited weapons.

The option to surrender weapons at a Police Station or have them properly deactivated applies equally to firearms as it does to shotguns.

Never destroy and/or dispose of a firearm/shotgun yourself. Every weapon needs to be accounted for and irrespective of what you do with a licensed weapon, you must inform the police authority which issued your certificate, exactly what you have done with it.

Unwanted Section 1 ammunition can be disposed of through another authorised firearm certificate holder, Registered Firearms Dealer, your target shooting club or surrendered at any Police Station.

Young Persons

From 28th July 2010 the Firearms Acts (Amendment) Regulations 2010 make a key change to the age at which a person may purchase or hire firearms, shot guns and ammunition. A person who is under 18 years of age may not purchase or hire any firearms, shot guns or ammunition.

  Under 18 Under 15 Under 14
Purchase or hire any firearm (including shotguns and air weapons) or ammunition No No No
Possess a Section 1 firearm and ammunition Yes Yes No (see exceptions 1, 2 & 3 below)
Receive a Section 1 firearm and ammunition as a gift Yes Yes No
Possess assembled shot gun and ammunition Yes No (see exceptions 1, 4 & 5 below) No (see exceptions 1, 4 & 5 below)
Receive a shot gun as a gift Yes No No
Possess an air weapon No (see exceptions 1, 2, 3, 4 & 6 below) No (see exceptions 1,2,3, 4 & 6 below) No (see exceptions 1,2, 3 & 4 below)
Receive an air weapon as a gift No No No
Possess an air weapon in a public place No (see exceptions 1, 2,3 & 4 below) No (see exceptions 1, 2,3 & 4 below) No (see exceptions 1, 2,3 & 4 below)

Some young shotgun and firearm certificate holders have a notice on their certificates stating that they cannot purchase shot guns until they attain the age of 17 years. This has now been increased to 18 years of age and all such certificate holders have received a letter explaining the change in the law and how it affects them.


  1. If carrying on behalf of the certificate holder (who is aged 18 years or over) and for the certificate holders sporting purposes only.
  2. When part of an approved club or cadet corps.
  3. On a Miniature Rifle Range.
  4. Under the supervision of someone over 21 years old.
  5. When the shotgun is in a securely fastened gun cover so that it cannot be fired
  6. Unless on private property with the permission of the land owner. It is an offence for someone under this exception to fire any missile beyond the boundary of the premises unless with permission of the adjacent landowner.

A shotgun is a smooth bore gun (not being an air weapon) which:

  • Has a barrel not less than 60.98 cm (24 inches) in length and does not have any barrel with a bore that exceeds 5.08 cm (2 inches), in diameter and…
  • Has no magazine, or a non-detachable magazine incapable of holding more than two cartridges and…
  • Is not a revolver gun

Other smooth bore guns may require a firearms certificate or even be prohibited weapons. There are weapons other than conventional shotguns which also require a shotgun certificate, e.g. smooth bore muskets used for re-enactments.

Genuine antique shotguns, with flintlock, matchlock and percussion cap firing mechanisms, which are not kept to be fired, will not normally need to be certificated. If in doubt, please contact the Firearms Licensing Department.

"Firearm", within the definition of the Firearms Acts, means a lethal barrelled weapon of any description, from which any shot, bullet or other missile can be discharged. It includes any prohibited weapon, any component part of such a weapon and any accessory to such a weapon designed or adapted to diminish the noise or flash caused by the firing of the weapon.

Firearm, within the terms of what you are allowed to hold on a firearm certificate, obviously does not include any prohibited weapons. Neither does it include shotguns, as they must be held on a separate shotgun certificate – except for Section 1 shotguns, which can only be held on firearm certificate. 

A Section 1 shotgun differs from a conventional shotgun in that it has a magazine capable of holding more than two cartridges. These are known as "pump action" or "semi-automatic" shotguns, where cartridges from the magazine are loaded by hand pumping the action, or by the discharge of the previous round. These weapons must be held on a firearm certificate.

Common sense dictates that there are many types of firearms, especially those designed for military use, that have no place in the sporting field or hobby of shooting. There are others, for instance some hand guns, which have been brought into the prohibited category by Acts of Parliament.

All of the following weapons and ammunition are prohibited:

Section 5(1)

  • Any firearm which is designed or adapted that two or more missiles can be successfully discharged without repeated pressure on the trigger
  • Any self-loading or pump-action rifled gun other than one that is chambered for .22 rim fire cartridges
  • Any firearm which either has a barrel less than 30cm in length or is less than 60cm in length overall, other than an air weapon, a muzzle-loading gun or a firearm designed as signalling apparatus
  • Any self-loading or pump-action smooth bore gun which is not an air weapon or chambered for .22 rim fire cartridges and either has a barrel less than 24 inches in length or Any smooth bore revolver gun other than one which is chambered for 9mm rim fire cartridges or a muzzle-loading gun
  • Any rocket launcher, or any mortar, for projecting a stabilised missile, other than a launcher or mortar designed for line throwing or pyrotechnic purposes of signalling apparatus
  • Any air rifle, air gun or air pistol which uses, or is designed or adapted for use with, a self-contained gas cartridge system
  • Any weapon of whatever description designed or adapted for the discharge of any noxious liquid, gas or other thing
  • Any cartridge with a bullet so designed to explode on or immediately before impact, any ammunition containing or designed or adapted to contain any such noxious thing as is mentioned in paragraph (viii), and, if capable of being used with a firearm of any description, any grenade, bomb or other like missile, or rocket or shell designed to explode as aforesaid

Section 5(1A)

  • Any firearm which is disguised as another object (e.g. walking stick)
  • Any rocket or ammunition not falling within paragraph (ix) of subsection 1 of this section which consists in or incorporates a missile designed to explode on or immediately before impact and is for military use
  • Any launcher or other projecting apparatus not falling within paragraph (vi) of that subsection which is designed to be used with any rocket or ammunition falling within paragraph (viii) above or with ammunition which would fall within that paragraph but for its being ammunition falling within paragraph (ix) of that subsection
  • Any ammunition for military use which consists in or incorporates a missile designed so that a substance contained in the missile will ignite on or immediately before impact
  • Any ammunition for military use which consists in or incorporates a missile designed, on account of its having a jacket and hard core, to penetrate armour plating, armour screening or body armour
  • Any ammunition which incorporates a missile designed or adapted to expand on impact
  • Anything which is designed to be projected as a missile from any weapon and is designed to be, or has been, incorporated in:
    • Any ammunition falling within any of the preceding paragraphs, or
    • Any ammunition which would fall within any of those paragraphs but for its being specified in subsection (1) of this section

In England and Wales, the Home Secretary is responsible for granting authorities to manufacture, sell, transfer, purchase, acquire or possess prohibited weapons or ammunition.

Applicants should apply in writing enclosing the application for the Possession purchase, manufacture sell or transfer prohibited weapons and/or ammunition (link below) to the Secretary of State,

At the :-

The Home Office
Public Order & Police Cooperation Unit
Firearms Section
5th Floor
Fry Building
2 Marsham Street

Any weapon apart from Section 2 shotguns (which are held on a shotgun certificate) can be held on a firearm certificate providing you can supply a "good reason".

Most applicants require small or full bore rifles for target shooting, as a member of a Home Office approved club. Others request muzzle-loading hand guns for the same reason. Others use rifles for vermin control or deer stalking. As long as satisfactory reasons are given, all these weapons can be legally held on a firearm certificate.

A firearm certificate can be revoked/refused if the holder is deemed to be:

  • Of intemperate habits
  • Of unsound mind
  • Unfit to be entrusted with such firearm
  • No longer has good reason for possession
  • A danger to the public safety or to the peace

A shotgun certificate can only be revoked/refused if the holder is deemed to be a danger to the public safety or to the peace.