Buying, Selling or Transferring Firearms

​When you first receive your Firearms Certificate, there will be no Firearms shown as possessed. But on your Firearms Certificate you will have the authorisations for the firearms you requested, and which were agreed by the Firearms Licenisng Department. Remember, these are the only firearms that you can legally hold on your certificate.

You will also have authority to purchase and store the agreed quantity of ammunition for the calibre of the Firearms shown. You can purchase the firearms authorised on your certificate, not only from a Registered Firearms Dealer, but also from other Firearm Certificate holders.

The final handing over of the Firearm must be in person, and the person transferring the firearm to you, must enter the details on the back of your Firearm Certificate at Table 1. It is not you that enters the details, but the seller.

Remember the old maxim - you only write on your own certificate when you sign it!

Having acquired your firearm you must, within seven days, inform the Firearms Licenisng Department that issued your certificate in writing of the transaction. The person transferring the firearm, must also inform their issuing authority.

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 firearm to any other person including selling it, hiring it out, lending it, or making a gift of it; or
  • purchase or acquire a firearm; or
  • deactivate a firearm or have it deactivated by someone else; or
  • destroy a firearm; lose a firearm; 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.


Similarly, when the time comes for you to dispose of one of your firearms to another certificate holder, you must enter the details of the transaction on the back of the purchaser's certificate. If you dispose of a firearm to a Registered Firearms Dealer, he will enter the transaction in his register.

Having disposed of your firearm you must, within seven days, inform the Firearms Licenisng Department that issued your certificate in writing of the transaction. The person / Registered Firearms Dealer receiving the firearm, must also inform their issuing authority.

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

It is not necessary to send in your certificate for such notifications unless you wish to apply for the authority to replace the weapon you have transferred, if so please refer to the page on 'Varaition of a Firearm Certificate' for further details on how to proceed.

 ​These requirements apply even if the transfer happened outside Great Britain.