Firearms & Explosives Licensing

 ​Offensive weapons surrender scheme 
The government is launching a surrender scheme, which will run until March 9th, for certain firearms and weapons after legislation has been put to parliament making them unlawful to own.
As part of the government’s priority to keep people safe, the Offensive Weapons Act will make it unlawful to possess certain rapid firing rifles, specific types of knives and other offensive weapons.
The Act will make it unlawful to possess dangerous weapons in private, including knuckledusters, zombie knives and death star knives, and will make it a criminal offence to dispatch bladed products sold online without verifying the buyer is over 18.
The Home Office will be publishing standard levels of compensation for items covered by the scheme. In addition, claimants will be able to request compensation that exceeds the standard level by providing evidence of the value of the item surrendered, such as a receipt of the price paid or a valuation from an auction house. Details of the scheme and make a claim for compensation will be published on GOV.UK ahead of the launch.
For firearms, you will not be required to attend a station, instead our licensing department will make arrangements to collect from your home and take possession of the weapon/ammunition and compensation form.
If you do not hear from our licensing department after the start of the scheme, certificate holders can make contact with the team by emailing:
Knives and offensive weapons can however be surrendered at any of the below stations:

-              Bishop Auckland
-              Darlington
-              Durham
-              Peterlee

COVID-19 UPDATE - 03/06/2020
Amendment to services during COVID-19
Our team are here to support you: 
·         By phone between 9am-11am Monday – Friday
·         By email between 8am – 4pm Monday – Friday
  • Unfortunately we are unable to offer a front counter service at Unit 1, Whitehouse Industrial Park, Traynor Way, Peterlee SR8 2RT
  • Where possible, all correspondence including renewal applications are to be sent electronically, via email to:
  • Where possible, payment for renewal applications should must be made electronically, with card payments being made over the telephone.  You will be contacted by the department in due course to take the payment
  • We initially restricted some of our services in response to the Corona virus outbreak. In line with revised guidance, we have now restored all services within safe guidelines. We appreciate your understanding and patience for any resulting extended response times.


The Constabulary has received a number of enquiries relating to and seeking clarity on the current position of shooting grounds, deer management and pest control in light of the government guidance. 
The guidance states that any facilities associated with outdoor sports and physical activities, including shooting ranges (but excluding indoor pistol ranges), can now reopen, if those responsible for them feel ready to do so and if they can do so safely, and in line with related public health guidance. This advice extends to outdoor pest control and deer management and we will not hinder those fulfilling these functions, on the condition that they are doing so in line with guidance and within the law. 
Also, Registered Firearms Dealers may operate normally as long as social distancing guidelines and PHE advice is followed to protect staff and customers. 
These are clearly challenging times and it is impossible to consider all circumstances but we will ensure fairness in the way we apply our interpretation of the regulations.
For further help and guidance you may wish to refer to the websites of the major shooting organisations who have each issued detailed guidance to their members regarding safe shooting within the current guidelines.



The Firearms & Explosives Licensing Department is located at Whitehouse Industrial Park, Peterlee, County Durham.
The department's main function is to administer the Firearms Acts 1968-1997 as amended, and the Explosives Regulations 2014. This means that the department is concerned with public safety in relation to the private ownership of firearms, shotguns and explosives.
Postal Address:
Firearms & Explosives Licensing
Unit 1,
Whitehouse Ind. Park,
Traynor Way,
This email account is monitored between 8am and 4pm Monday to Friday.
This email address should not be used for any message that might require an emergency response.
Telephone numbers:
0191 375 2240 or 0191 375 2542
In an emergency, always dial 999.
Firearms Licensing Opening Hours:
Telephone enquires Between 9am to 11am Monday-Friday.
Please read the guidance notes on Form 201 before completing your application form, these can be found on pages 12-15 on the below 201 application form.
Please ensure your certificate or a copy of your full certificate is submitted with your renewal application.
Please complete Durham Constabulary Other Residents form although this is not mandatory,  this will ensure your application is processed with the utmost efficiency


- Firearms and Shotgun Grant - Renewal Form 201.pdf 

- Firearms Variation Application (Form 201V).pdf

- Other Residents Form 

- Ownership of Weapon Transfer

All cheques or Postal orders should be made payable to: Durham Constabulary or Durham Police. **We now also accept card payments**

If you need any advice in relation to completing your application please do not hesitate to contact us on: 0191 3752240 or alternatively email:

Return all completed forms to the above address 



Please note that at present, due to a significant increase in demand, a temporary permit will be assigned to an individual’s record at the end of the eight-week extension period.
The permit will not be issued in paper form, unless specifically requested by the certificate holder. We would ask that you only request this if absolutely necessary.
Your record will show the details thereafter, an officer may check the validity of your ability of your ability to be in possession of a firearm by referring to your record.   


Limited Extension of Certificate, Section 28B of the Firearms Act 1968, as amended.
This provision came into force on 17 April 2018, as a result of Section 131 of the Policing and Crime Act 2017, and extends an expiring certificate by no more than 8 weeks.
This extension is conditional on the renewal application being made no less than 8 weeks before expiry, and does not alter the terms of the original certificate, with the purchase of ammunition and the transfer of guns still being permitted. 
In Durham, we do not anticipate having to use this extension in cases other than when there are additional enquiries that will take us past the expiry date.  As soon as we identify any such issue, an extension letter will be granted, and our advice is that certificate holders retain the letter with their expiring certificate as proof of the extension.
For applications that are made less than 8 weeks before expiry, the limited extension will not apply, and if the renewal process cannot be completed before the expiry date, the holder will have to make alternative arrangements for their guns, as has been the practice for some time.
When an application that has been extended is granted, the renewal date will remain unchanged, and the new certificate will be dated from the previous expiry date, with any additional time under this provision not counting towards the new certificate.
Therefore, if a holder has an expired certificate, but it is within the 8 week period after expiry, and they produce a letter confirming the limited extension, their certificate can be regarded as valid in all respects.


Related Links

Home Office Guidance on Firearm Security.