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Firearm and Shotgun Security

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When applying for the grant of a certificate, your local Firearms Enquiry officer will make a mutually convenient appointment to visit your home after all relevant enquiries have been completed.

During the visit your domestic security will be assessed and advice will be given on any necessary improvements that may need to be made.

The Firearms Act state that the weapons must be kept safe and secure at all times to prevent unauthorised access, as far as is reasonably practicable.

The Firearms Rules 1998 require you to store your gun(s) securely at all times. The Chief Officer of police is required to be satisfied that your possession of guns will not create a danger. If he/she cannot be satisfied as to the safe storage, then a certificate cannot be granted.

When considering whether security is acceptable or not, the police will consider:

  • Levels of crime in the area
  • Remoteness of the property
  • Manner in which the property is overlooked and/or illuminated
  • The extent to which the property is left unoccupied
  • The location of the proposed storage
  • The attractiveness of the weapons to criminals
  • The number of firearms held or desired to be held
  • Whether it is generally known that firearms are kept on the premises
  • Generally speaking, storage should be arranged within an occupied dwelling house and not in a garage or outhouse

In addition, if you are considering the acquisition of a new cabinet, it must be to at least BS7558:1992 specification and fitted with a minimum of four bolts, flush to a solid wall or solid floor.

In the event of fitting your cabinet to a solid floor it should be horizontal to the floor. If fitting within a loft, the cabinet should be fitted horizontally to the joists. Cabinets should always be concealed from visitors, passers-by or view through windows.

If in doubt, please refer to the Home Office Security Manual 2019.

Section 1 ammunition should be stored in a separate lockable container fitted elsewhere or a separate lockable compartment within the gun cabinet.

If a commercial safe is to be considered, where it weighs less than 20cwt, fixings will need to be in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Your FEO will discuss key security and if considering a key safe, please ensure you purchase one which is Police Approved through ‘Secured by Design.’