Good Reason

​​It must be stressed that this section relates to shotguns (Section 2 weapons) only. "Good reason" for Section 1 Firearms is a different entity and dealt with under the firearm section.

The Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988 revised the criteria set out in Section 28 of the 1968 Act for the grant and renewal of a shotgun certificate, so as to allow Chief Officers of Police more discretion to make enquiries into applications. It is important to note how the criteria differ from those in respect of applications for Section 1 weapons.

No certificate shall be granted or renewed if the Chief Officer of Police:

  • has reason to believe that the applicant is prohibited by the Act from possessing a shotgun; OR
  • is satisfied that the applicant does not have a good reason for possessing, purchasing or acquiring a shotgun


However, the Act does not require the applicant to make out a good case for being granted a shotgun certificate, but extends the Chief Officer's grounds for refusing one.

Each and every application will be judged on its own merit, but the usual reasons for requiring a shotgun include the following:

Clay pigeon shooting

We strongly advise that it is best to join a reputable club first before applying for your shotgun certificate. You will find most clubs helpful and very keen to assist you in many ways. Not only can you get expert advice and assistance to help you make the right choices in your chosen sport, but gain valuable experience as well. However, non-certificate holders can only shoot at artificial targets, with clubs approved by the Chief Officer of Police, on specific days allowed by their Section 11(6) permit.

Vermin control

Unlike a firearm certificate, a shotgun certificate does not include any specific conditions as to where you are allowed to shoot. However "Land-use", as it is called when shooting vermin, should only be indulged over farmland or other similar large areas, the use of a shotgun in a confined garden area or allotment could be seen as a danger to he public safety. Even when shooting on farmland and alike, the greatest care must be taken to ensure that other people are not within your line of fire and the permission of the land owner or the owner of the shooting rights is paramount.

Please follow the below link for further information in relation to recent changes to licence requirements for bird control;-

Changes to licensing requirments for bird control - 25/04/2019



Using replica muskets, many people enjoy the pastime of re-enacting Civil and Colonial Wars. Some even make their own muskets and uniform. The sight of a large army in full uniform skirmishing with the enemy is quite a spectacle. There are many societies and associations which specialise in this field, so if this is where your interest lies, we would advise you to contact them directly. They will be only too eager to accept new recruits.