To apply for a firearm or shotgun licence, read this information carefully and then download the appropriate form from the ‘Downloads’ section below.

Download and print the required form, (it cannot be saved for later), and complete by hand. Please check you have signed it and enclosed the necessary items before sending:

  • completed application form
  • one photograph
  • the appropriate fee (see below)

Please ensure all correspondence is sent to:

Firearms Licensing Unit
Police Headquarters
Wootton Hall

Office Hours: Monday to Friday 9am - 4.30pm 
Enquiries 01604 888117 or 101 ext 341035

and not to your local police station or local Firearms Enquiry Officer. Please note that whichever local authority you pay your community charge to will determine which police force you must apply to.

Correspondence, applications and payments by correct cash, cheque or postal orders can be accepted within office hours at our office location of:

Firearms Licensing Unit
Cornwell Business ParK 
27-29 Salthouse Road

Renewal applications should be returned to us eight weeks before expiry of your current certificate in order that all enquiries can be completed in good time. It will be dealt with by a Civilian Firearms Enquiry Officer, who will contact you in due course to arrange an interview and advise you on security requirements. Please do not take any action on security until advised.

Firearm certificates

Grant of firearm certificate £88
Renewal of firearm certificate £62
Variation of a firearm certificate (other than when it is renewed at the same time) to increase the number of firearms to which the certificate relates £20
Replacement of a firearm certificate lost or destroyed £4

Shotgun certificates

Grant of a shotgun certificate £79.50
Renewal of a shotgun certificate £49
Replacement of a shotgun certificate lost or destroyed £4

Coterminous certificates

Firearms and shotgun certificates valid for the same dates

Coterminous grants £90
Coterminous renewal £65

Visitors' permits

Individual visitor's permit £20
Group visitors' permit (groups of six or more valid for the same dates) £100

Registered firearms dealers

Registration or renewal £200
Additional premises £13

Fees paid by cheque or postal order should be made payable to 'PCC Northants'.

Our agreed level of service is to process a completed application within 16 weeks of receipt under normal circumstances. Incomplete applications and/or where there are other issues to be considered may take longer.

Visitors’ permits

Applications for visitors' firearms or shotgun permits must be submitted with the following documentation for each visitor:

Faxed, photocopied or scanned copies of documents are acceptable. Where copies are not enclosed the permits will not be issued.

Registering as a firearms dealer

If your business is connected with the buying, selling, manufacturing, testing or repairing of firearms, shotguns or ammunition you are required to register as a Firearms Dealer. This allows you to be in possession of firearms, shotguns or ammunition as part of your business without the need to comply with the requirements of a Firearm or Shotgun Certificate in relation to notifications of acquisitions or, in the case of firearms, the need to obtain specific authorisation before you acquire them.

If you attend a game fair or agricultural show outside of the police area where your business is registered you have to register with the police for that area using Form 116.

If another place of business is required in the same area as your primary registered firearms dealer (RFD) certificate then Form 116a - Additional Premises application will need to be submitted. There is no fee for additional places of business in the same police area.

Age restrictions

The following age restrictions apply to the purchase or possession of Firearms, Section 1 ammunition, Shotguns and air weapons.

Section 1 Firearms and ammunition

If you are under 14yrs of age you cannot possess a Section 1 firearm or ammunition unless you are carrying it for sporting purposes or as a member of a rifle club, cadet corps or when using at a shooting gallery or miniature rifle range. (Sporting purposes is where you are acting as a gun bearer carrying a gun or ammunition for another person who is the holder of a firearms certificate for that gun)

You can't receive a firearm as a gift or borrow one.

If you are under 15yrs of age you cannot have an assembled shotgun unless you are under the supervision of a person over the age of 21 yrs. or the shotgun is securely fastened in a gun cover so that it cannot be fired. You cannot receive a shotgun as a gift or buy shotgun cartridges but you can possess them. You can be given a Section 1 Firearm as a gift.

If you are under 18yrs of age you cannot purchase or hire either a firearm or shotgun but you could receive them as gifts.

Air Weapons

If you are under 18yrs of age you cannot have with you an air weapon at any time unless you are under the supervision of a person over the age of 21yrs or as part of an approved target shooting club or shooting gallery.

If you are between the ages of 14yrs - 18yrs you may use an air weapon on private premises with the consent of the owner of the premises but any missile fired must not go beyond the boundary of the premises.

No one is permitted to make a gift of an air weapon or ammunition for an air weapon to a person under the age of 18yrs or to part with possession of an air weapon or ammunition for an air weapon to a person under this age except where by virtue of section 23 of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988 the person is not prohibited from having it with them.