How to Legally Own Firearms in the UK - Section 2 Shotguns

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Tyler Danann, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey+

    Now compared to an FAC (Firearms Certificate) getting a shotgun license or a Shot Gun Certificate is a doddle.

    You don't have to be in any club or belong to an organisation and you're not restricted (as much) on where you can and cannot use a shotgun.

    There are a few hoops to jump through but these are pretty ordinary ones for the most part.

    The Video Guide

    First of all make sure you've got a good place in your place for installing a gun cabinet.
    Upstairs in your bedroom is very good. Concealed behind something is optimal.
    In a loft is the ultimate, however installing it up there would be troublesome in some cases. Especially with the super-heavy ones.

    There is a myth that you've got to have a gun cabinet in an windowless room.
    Utterly overstated. You'd score high on the inspection visit but it'd be overkill for a SGC.
    Ground floor is ok, but you score higher on the visit if it's upstairs. Being able to lock the door to the room also is wise.

    Next thing to do is get a gun cabinet ordered. I used these boys:

    Now for what to get it's debatable. Something like this would be the benchmark for an FAC / SGC set-up:

    With a cabinet without an inner locking compartment I'd say that would be more suited to a SGC.

    The low-down

    You are not allowed anymore than a 2 shot magazine + 1 in the breech shotgun to be purchased with a section 1 certificate (FAC shotguns have no limit to ammo capacity).
    It's got to have a barrel of no less than 24 inches.
    It can't have a detachable or rotary magazine. (FAC shotguns can have the former).

    You must declare if you have a criminal record or have been sectioned under the mental health act. Addictions to drink and drugs are also pitfalls. They do dig.
    The devil is in the details...
    From 14 July 2014 a person receiving a suspended sentence of a minimum duration of three months or more will be prohibited from possessing a firearm for five years from the second day after sentence.

    Once your gun cabinet has arrived get someone (I used the delivery bloke) to help you lift it inside and up to the place you want it.
    Ensure you've ordered it with the fixing kit.

    It'll be a set of six masonry bolts and rawplugs.
    Very important for what you'll have to do next. Your DIY handy man skills need to be spot on now. You could get a handy man to do this but I did it myself as I want as few people as possible knowing I'd be having guns in my home. Especially when they know your address.

    Gun Cabinet Installation

    Take a mains-attached drill, fit a six inch masonry drill bit.
    Take a careful note of the depth you'll be drilling to (using the masonry bolt as a reference).
    The wall you want to drill into *should* be the supporting wall of the house or home. Not the dividing one as that is usually less strong and in some cases just plasterboard. If it's brick then you can do it, but I'd advise to use the supporting wall for strength.
    Get the cabinet up against the wall, mark the position of all the holes you'll be putting the cabinet bolts through.
    Now drill!
    Insert the rawplugs.
    Assuming you've got your markings right the bolts will go in and expand. Once all six are in you're cabinet will be rock-solid and there ought to be little or no movement. The policeman during his visit will rock and roll the thing so now is the time to get it right

    Once you've got that done congratulate yourself with a hearty slap on the back and a brew.
    If nothing else you've got somewhere to store air-rifles and valubles.

    Ok the next step is to make a doctors appointment and get 2 passport sized pictures taken.
    Before the doctors appt. you need to have completed the:

    'Application for a Shot Gun Certificate'

    The form number for this used to be 'Firearms Form 103'

    It is now Form 201

    This is a downloadable from your area constabulary website OR go to the nearest police station and pick one up.

    It used to be a different separate form for the shotgun application but since 2014 the same form for the FAC application is used for the SGC application. Just fill in the relevant areas. On another video guide I show the Form 201 in detail for an FAC application.

    For the SGC application it is similar.
    The video guide above shows the old form walk-through yet is very similar to the new one.

    I'll run through the summary here:

    Filling out the Form

    Fill out your personal details

    It'll ask if you 'lived' at addresses other than what your home address is.
    I won't play freeman of the land on this one but emphasis is on 'lived' so answer that accordingly.

    Have you been convicted of any offence?

    This is the big groove, you can't (unfortunately) pull the rehab. of offenders act on crimes spent here for those of you with colourful pasts.
    The notes at the end of the application actually state 'You are not entitled to withhold information about any offence.' So it's up to you to answer it honestly.

    Doctors details are required.

    This is where they'll run checks on you to make sure you ain't gonna go out and cause mayhem when depressed etc.

    You sign section A. This gives them the consent to approach the GP to see if you are model citizen of the year and not Tony Hamilton / Ryan material.
    As long as you're not booze rider, nervous nigel or the dope meister you ought to be ok.

    It asks for details on the proposed storage and location of your shotgun.

    This is where you need to wax lyrical/prose and get across about the area you live in, the house/rooms security, who else shares the storage facilities.

    What would be optimal and almost certain to pass inspection?

    Living in a zero-crime neighbourhood, max'ed out alarm-system that's wired to the nearest cop-shop.
    House doorways are high security doors with multiple locks and levers.
    Guns kept in Loft conversion with steel lockable door access, gun cabinet bolted in at the back AND the bottom into solid brickwork.
    Gun Cabinet a very heavy 100 kilo Gun Safe variant with 8 locking pins.
    Concealed inside sliding wardrobe. (this is hardcore by the way!)
    No others SGC holders sharing.

    What would probably rejected outright and almost certainly following inspection?

    Living in a high-crime, inner city hellhole.
    Zero security apart from a locked door.
    No police approved gun cabinet, just a gun rack/clip and steel cable running through it into a wall.
    Other SGC holders sharing.

    Counter Signature

    An important section.

    This where the doctors appointment you've just made comes in handy...
    In this bit someone who the establishment considers 'their man' (or woman) vouches for you.
    Now it's not always easy to get this bit completed. Especially if you are new to an area.
    The countersignatory must of known you for at least 2 years.
    The countersignatory must also be an MP, Justice of the Peace, established civil servant, bank officer or person of similar standing.
    Cops, police employees or firearms dealers cannot act as countersignatories.

    Assuming your doc. knows you for at least 2 years all should be well.

    The small print in Section D is among some of the most fundimental elements of being allowed to apply and own a shot gun.

    The WR translation (which may be interpreted varyingly) is as follows:

    The countersignatory is signing Section D to declare that he/she knows of NO REASON WHY THE APPLICANT SHOULD NOT BE PERMITTED to possess a shot gun.
    So compared to an FAC application where you need to show 'reason for' on the application owning a weapon on the SGC is putting the onus on the police to state WHY YOU SHOULD NOT be permitted to own one.

    One up for gun owners, not quite an endorsement of the right to bear arms but better than a kick in the teeth.

    Roll up to the docs surgery at the appointed time with application form and one of the passport photographs.

    Walk in and give them the paperwork. When I waltzed in I was pretty nonchalant and breezy about it but then he knew me reasonably well.
    We palavered a bit about stuff in general but he didn't make me do any tests, just remarked on the price of the bloody thing!

    All being well he'll sign both it and the passport pic. He needs to do the 'I certify that this is a current true likeness of.....' on it.

    This done you're almost ready.

    Now just sign and date the declaration.

    Now go and get £50 in postal orders. This is the current fee for a Shot Gun Certificate.
    Photocopy the form. Send it special delivery to your local county firearms HQ. You'll need to look this up, it vary's depending on where you live.

    Once sent it's the waiting game. I got two letters stating they'd received my application and were processing it. Now the letters they send are important as they'll detail the visiting officer by his name. Make a note of this.
    Then a few weeks later the 'visit' / inspection will take place...
    kellory, stg58 and hank2222 like this.
  2. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey+

    The Firearms Officer Visit...

    You'll get a phone call out of the blue and it'll be police inspector (some places send out a civilian but this is rare nowadays) who will give his/her name and when he's visiting. Ensure it tallys with the letter as this is who you'll be letting in your home.

    The visit only takes about 15 - 30 minutes. Greet the inspector at the door. Try and make a good impression but don't go all groveltastic either.

    She/He'll want to see the storage facilities as described in the application.
    Once there they'll do what I call the shake test to make sure the gun cabinet is installed correctly. I hope your masonry bolts hold

    Once this is done they've got a list of questions they'll ask you.
    These include but not limited to:

    Drink / Drug problems?

    How many people live in the house.

    This is important, if the house is left vacant for too long the cops don't like it. So its best if there's always someone living in the house.

    Have you handled /used firearms before?

    A reasonable one, you need a brain to safely use them and action like a maverick isn't wise, especially if you are going to be new to gun ownership. Ex-forces guys are generally at an advantage here, especially as it's above and beyond shotgun weaponry. Tick in the box for them. Air rifle ownership is another one you could mention to bridge the gap if you have no military credentials.

    Why do you want to own a shotgun?

    Tell the truth on this one BUT don't say for defense. The ptb back in the 60s changed the law to prevent this reason. You can say it but expect a big black mark on the file probably meaning your application is rejected.

    Good reasons they like include plinking on farm-land (that you've got permission on), sport-shooting (clays), practical shotgun competitions (UKPSA), collecting, vermin control.
    Belonging to a gun club is another valid reason. Although it's not necessary, having gun owner friends is a big plus imo.
    Let them know and if they are cool with it, name drop to the inspector. That way he can see you are part of the 'gun scene'. One thing I think they like is if you're going out shotgunning with someone who is already experienced in it. That way you're not going to be Mr inexperienced solo who might end up hurting himself out in the country.

    The deal is that the questions are to establish if you are grade A michael ryan material who is just wanting to cause mayhem and strife as opposed to sensible shooter/owner of guns.

    If you're talking bs then unless you are Mr compulsive liar extraordinaire they'll sniff you out pretty well imo. Be honest and look them in the eye, that way they don't start thinking you've got ulterior motives.

    Assuming all goes well the inspector will shake your hand and be on his way.
    All your answers he'll of noted onto his checklist form and he'll forward them to the Chief Officer of Police.
    From there, depending on the collation of all the info, answers and recomendation of the inspector you'll either get a rejection or an approval.

    All being well you should get a shiny new Shot Gun Certificate 2 or 3 weeks later.

    As soon as you get it give it a good read and sign it.

    Now go out and get your gun! [​IMG]


    WRs Disclaimer:

    I'm not responsible for any who use the information above for aquiring a Shot Gun for illegal use.
  3. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey+

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