Buying, Selling or Transferring Shotguns


How do you go about acquiring a shotgun?

There are various ways to acquire shotguns. These include buying one from another certificate holder or Registered Firearm Dealer and, should you be fortunate enough, having either of the former giving you a shotgun.

On the back of the certificate is "Table 2". It is this table that must be completed by the person selling/transferring the gun to you. Similarly, if you sell or transfer one of your shotguns to another certificate holder, you must enter the details of that weapon, in Table 2, on the back of the recipient's certificate. You do not enter details of the transfer on your own certificate. A good thing to remember is the only time you write on your own certificate is when you sign it. The final handing over of the shotgun must be done in person.

If you acquire a shotgun from a Registered Firearms Dealer, he will enter the details of the weapon into Table 2, on the back of your certificate. If you sell or dispose of a shotgun to a Registered Firearms Dealer, he will enter the transaction in his register.

Both parties involved in the transfer of the shotgun(s) must, within seven days, inform the Firearms Licenisng Department that issued your certificate in writing of the transaction.

The Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 requires you to notify the Chief Officer of Police who issued your certificate within seven days if you:

  • transfer a shotgun to any other person including selling it, hiring it out, lending it for more than 72 hours, or making a gift of it; or
  • purchase or acquire a shotgun; or
  • deactivate a shotgun or have it deactivated by someone else; or
  • destroy a shotgun; lose a shotgun; or have one stolen.


Section 33 (3) of The Firearms Amendment Act 1997 requires that such notification shall:

  • contain a description of the firearm in question, (giving its identification number if any); and
  • state the nature of the transaction and the name and address of the other party;
    and any such notice shall be sent by registered post or the recorded delivery service.


Your written notification to the Firearms Licensing Office will allow your records to be maintained and eliminate unnecessary police enquiries or delays during the assessment of any forthcoming application for renewal of the shotgun certificate.

As a shotgun certificate holder it is also possible for you to borrow a shotgun from another certificate holder. However, if the shotgun is to be in your possession for more than 72 hours, the person lending you the weapon must enter the details in Table 2 stating the reason in column B.


These requirements apply even if the matter happened outside Great Britain.

  • It is an offence not to notify.
  • It is not necessary to send in your certificate for such notifications.