Firearms Law

* Please note – nothing in this article constitutes legal advice nor is it intended to confirm the accuracy of any 3rd part websites referred to, always refer to your local police authority for confirmation.

However we feel that there are some basic firearm laws which are very clear and should upheld at all times, these are as follows…


  • To legally own a shotgun which holds 3 rounds or less you need to be a registered SGC holder.
  • To legally own a firearm or a shotgun which holds more than 3 rounds you need to be a registered FAC holder.
  • Each firearm calibre or Shotgun gauge, and quantity of each needs to be registered on your FAC prior to purchasing.
  • Shotgun ammunition quantities does not need to be declared on a SGC.
  • To legally purchase and store firearm ammunition you need to be a registered FAC holder.
  • Each calibre and quantity of ammunition need to be registered on your FAC/SGC prior to purchasing.
  • Pistol and revolvers must have a fixed stocked and their barrel length over 30cm or an overall length of 60cm.
  • Fully-automatic firearms are completely illegal in the UK.(unless you own a Section 5 license)
  • Semi-automatic rifles over .22lr calibre are illegal in the UK.

If you want to know more about a FAC or SGC (Firearms certificates and Shotgun certificate) please click here.

Below you will find UK firearm laws broken down into different sections, with a bit of an introduction from us, to try and guide you to the information you are looking for. Any information on this page is presented by The Shooting Wiki Team in good faith. This is our understanding of certain aspects of current legislation, covering the licensing of guns within England and Wales, and as such the intro text should not be taken as a complete or definitive statement of the law. Any case of doubt should be referred to your local Police Firearms Licensing Unit or a solicitor specialising in firearms law. This information is taken directly from the page. – See more at:

Law for Target Shooting clubs

Approval of rifle and muzzle-loading pistol clubs – This guide explains the criteria and conditions which they must meet in order to obtain approval and remain approved to operate a rifle and muzzle-loading pistol target shooting club. – See more at:

Guidance on Firearms Law

Guidance to the police and others on firearms law – This guide is more of an introduction to the firearms law and licensing act, it defines the authorises involved in issuing a firearms licence. The ‘supporting’ document on this page is key here as it outlines the laws on firearm possession, removal and expiration of firearm certificates, selling, transferring and the distribution of firearms as well as ammunition possession and restrictions. – See more at:

Firearms Security

Firearms security: a brief guide – This is a brief introduction to firearm security (firearm meaning all types, pistol, rifle, shotgun) it covers basic guidelines on firearm and ammunitions security. See more at:

Firearms security handbook

This compared to the brief guide is a in-depth 53 page handbook on Firearms security, it provides guidance for police and civilians on securely storing and moving guns. It covers the general aspects of security, Cabinets (display & hidden) and firearm safes, clamps, cable locks, gun enclosures, gun rooms and armoury buildings (the latter two are more for police reference) If you want to read up on securely storing your firearm at home and when transporting, this is the guide to read. – See more at:

Reproduced from “The Shooting Wiki”