Posted 04 October 2008 - 03:29 PM
So here goes.
To legally hold Shotguns in the UK, a person must be in the possession of a valid Shotgun Certificate (SGC Hereinafter). This is obtained from your local police force in which the address you are going to store your Shotguns is situated.
There are a few age limits on the use of Shotguns and how useful your certificate is at different ages.
You can hold an SGC at any age. But there are limits to its use.
It is an offence for someone to have an Assembled Shotgun with them if they are under 15 years old unless they are supervised by someone 21 years and over, or the gun is in a securely fastened gun cover i.e. gunslip.
You can have a Shotgun given to you at 15 years of age, and use it on your own, on land you have permission. You still cannot purchase Guns or Ammunition at this age.
At 18 you can purchase both guns and ammunition and use them on land which you have permission.
For a first Grant of a Shotgun Certificate, the fee will be £50, for each continuous renewal it will drop to £40. If you apply for a Coterminous FAC and SGC it will cost £60 for both as the Enquiry Officer only has to visit once.
First of all, read as much as you can about the process of applications so you will have some idea of what it involves. Have a look Here. You will find a great deal of information on there which you can familiarise yourself with.
Also, it may not be a bad idea to have a chat with your shooting organisation, whoever that may be.
Now, you will need a set of SGC Application Forms. These can either be printed off from Here, Or they can be posted to you, by your local Police force. If you wish to have them posted, you will need to contact your Police force and ask to be put through to their Firearms Licensing Department, they will then ask you for your address and the forms normally arrive within a few days!
Filling in the Forms! To some, this can seem quite a daunting, unpleasant, and off putting part of the application process but its nothing to be really concerned about, just answer honestly and you cannot be troubled, only told Yes or No, depending on the answers.
Questions 1-13 are just personal details, which they need for several different reasons, nothing really to explain there except that in all empty boxes where no information is to be entered, either "N/A" or "NONE" must be entered.
Questions 14,15(A& and 16 are related to your previous convictions and medical history. If you are applying for any type of firearm, I think these questions are perfectly acceptable and not nearly as obtrusive as some Job Application forms I have seen and filled in. You need to answer these questions as thoroughly as you possible as they will know every offence or piece of medical history you have anyway! They are there a ) so that they have an inkling if you have any history and b ) to test to see if you have declared something if they happen to find it on a PNC , CRB or other checks they run about you. If you have previous convictions, it does not automatically mean you cannot have an SGC. It will depend entirely on;
a ) What the nature of the offence was,
b ) How long ago it was,
c ) Whether you have served over three years imprisonment, as this will result in you being banned from keeping firearms for life.
It will also depend on your FEO and your Licensing Department's Manager as they will have the final say on behalf of the Chief Constable whether you can have an SGC or not.
Question 17 is where you will need to give details of how you plan to store your Shotguns if your application goes ahead. This is also where you will need to give the details of anyone who is going to share your security or if you intend to share someone else's. This is perhaps one of the question which confuses people as it is fairly vague.
When I have written applications in the past this is roughly what I have written and received no further comment on this section of the form.
"The Shotguns to which the proposed Certificate will relate will be securely stored in a Gun Cabinet which conforms to British Standard BS 7558:1992. This cabinet will be bolted to a solid, load bearing wall by the use of expanding bolts. I am the only person who will be using these storage facilities. The cabinet will be located out of view of casual visitors and external view."
Question 18 relates to what if any Shotguns you have in your current possession, as this post is aimed at those wishing to apply for the first time, this section will not apply to you as you wont have any guns in your possession. Just write "NONE" in the box on the top right above the table.
Questions 19,20 and 21a relate to current or previous certificates. Much of this again is not relevant to those applying for a first certificate. If you have held a Shotgun certificate before and let it expire. Then put the details in box 20.
Question 21b asks whether you want to apply for a Firearms Certificate at the same time as your Shotgun Certificate. This option can also be used if you wish to Synchronise your SGC and FAC to expire at the same time. It's a money saving scheme at the end of it as the two certificates will cost you £60 rather than £50 each as the Firearms Officer will only need to visit once.
Question 21c asks whether you hold a current Firearms Certificate(FAC), if you do then enter the details, if not, then leave blank.
Question 22 asks whether you have ever been refused a SGC or FAC. This should be answered honestly if you have, but seen as most people reading this are applying for a first certificate it wont apply to them.
This section is vital! This is where you will need to record the details of someone who is willing to vouch for you, that you are suitable in their eyes to hold a SGC.
The form will say that this section needs to be filled out by someone of repute within the community i.e. a Civil Servant, MP, Justice of the Peace or similar. But in reality, it can be anyone who has good standing within the community. A Teacher, your Boss, etc etc.
Doctors as countersignatories(CS) is a bit of a Grey Area and thorny issue. Your CS should have known you for at least two years personally before they can sign your form. As most of us don't know our Doctor personally and not for a period of two years, it is a very Grey Area. Also, Doctors are increasingly charging for the signing of CS's.
Your CS will need to sign and date one of the four Passport Photographs, which I'll come to in a minute.
This is a very simple section. You just need to sign and date the agreement on the bottom of the form. If you are under 17 years old then you will need to get a Parent/Guardian to sign it also to prove that they have seen the form and are aware you are applying for this certificate.
You will need include four Passport sized photographs (35mmx45mm) with your application. They need to be a current true likeness of you without any hats or other garments which disguise you, glasses are fine.
One will need to be signed and dated by you. Another will to be signed and dated by your CS, who will also need to insert the line, "I Certify That This is a Current True Likeness of…Insert Name…."
The other two are spares for the Licensing Department to use.
There are many different ways in which you can make a Shotgun secure and there are many different methods which the Police will accept. For example, if you intend to have a single shotgun, then it may be possible for you to install a Gun Cable attached to a load bearing wall and hidden from view. However, the vast, vast majority of people will opt for a Gun Cabinet. As mentioned above, ideally, and to avoid any mishaps, however small, it is best if the cabinet complies to BS7558:1992 which is a British Standard and Enquiry Officers will not turn down a Cabinet in good condition, and attached to a load bearing wall securely, which complies to that standard.
Gun Cabinets are sold by the number of Guns that are Recommended to be stored in it. You do not have to stick to this number, you can keep as many as you can fit in your cabinet.
Best practice is to secure this cabinet to a load bearing wall, i.e. Brick or Stone etc, using expanding bolts which will support the weight of the cabinet and guns. Your Enquiry Officer, when he comes to check your security arrangements, will check, and physically try to move your cabinet to ascertain whether it is secure or not. If all is well, then there is a very good chance that it will be passed with no hindrance.
Not everyone will live in a House, some will live in Mobile Homes and other accommodation. In these circumstances, the best form of assurance that it is worth applying for your SGC is to ring your Licensing Department and ask them to send an Enquiry Officer to advise on where it is possible to fit a cabinet, how to fit it and if it is possible at all.
This is not some scary and unpleasant chore which is performed to annoy or intimidate you, normally, they will go off without a hitch after a fairly friendly discussion about your needs and wants.
Once you have submitted your Application, you will hear from your Licensing Department or Enquiry Officer at some point who will then arrange a convenient time for them to visit and have a chat with you. During this time, he will more than likely ask you what your previous shooting experience is, what your reasons are for needing a shotgun, and what security you intend to install or already have installed. If you have already taken the step of installing a cabinet, then he will inspect that, and if you have installed it to the correct standard, then he will approve it. This will hopefully make the process quicker as he will not need to return to inspect a cabinet.
Once he has conducted the business he needs to then he will write and file a report which will be submitted to the Licensing Department. The Report will normally mean a Yes or No, so the interview is Vital!
Your Enquiry Officer will ask you what you need a shotgun for, for which there are many answers which you can give and which are genuine, even though you need not give a reason you wish to acquire an SGC, I will list as many as I can think of here.
They are the main ones, and if you mention any of the above, then you will be fine.
If all goes well
If you complete all of the above Honestly, correctly, with all the correct dates and signatures along with photographs and a satisfactory report from the FEO, as well as the Licensing Departments manager giving it the OK…………………….. You should receive your SGC.
How long it will take depends on the area you are in. Some people get the entire process completed in a fortnight, others can take many, many months. You can find out by asking other holders in your area what their experiences are.
I think that is all for the application of a SGC, if I have missed anything, please let me know and I will edit this post.
FAC now………………..What fun!
Posted 04 October 2008 - 04:52 PM
All the best pal,
Posted 06 October 2008 - 04:32 PM
Posted 07 October 2008 - 09:51 PM
Posted 07 October 2008 - 10:21 PM
Posted 05 December 2008 - 07:19 PM
all the best bobafet...
Posted 13 December 2008 - 03:24 PM
Posted 13 December 2008 - 09:42 PM
15 years is a long time, and a great deal of maturing comes in that time. When you send in your application form and they begin to process it, they will know that you have previous convictions when they do a PNC check.
useful bit of info,as i'm thinking of going for my sgc soon. one think which is bothering me is that have a criminal record, but it must be 15yrs or more since i was last in trouble[usual stuff when your a kid the odd brawl in pubs ect] but i can't remember the dates and such, would the police be able to give me this info
Don't push it, when your FEO comes for an interview, he will ask you about them if he feels the need.
You just need to prove to him that that is well in the past. A lot of people have SGC's who have some kind of previous conviction, its not the be all and end all of holding one.
Posted 14 December 2008 - 05:14 PM
Posted 14 December 2008 - 06:23 PM
What do I put in the box that says;
Give details of the location at which the shotgun(s) concerned are to be stored including details of any certificate holder sharing the storage facilities.
If I don't have a gun cabinet or won't be getting one yet?
Posted 14 December 2008 - 06:33 PM
Do I still need a cabinet to get my certificate granted?
Posted 14 December 2008 - 07:05 PM
Yes, you do
I don't intend on getting a cabinet until I buy a shotgun which will be in a year or thereabouts.
Do I still need a cabinet to get my certificate granted?
Posted 14 December 2008 - 07:11 PM
Posted 30 December 2008 - 02:24 PM
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