Firearms Certificates

With the following exceptions, a Firearm Certificate must be held for any 'Firearm' or ammunition for such a weapon. For the full definition please refer to


  • Shot guns which may be held on a Shot Gun Certificate
  • Shot gun cartridges containing five or more shot, none of which exceeds .36 inch in diameter, which can only be purchased on production of a Shot Gun Certificate.
  • Air weapons of a type not declared specially dangerous (i.e. those falling below 6ft/lbs for an Air Pistol or 12 ft/lbs for an Air rifle. 
  • Ammunition for an air gun, air rifle or air pistol.
  • Blank cartridges not more than one inch in diameter

Firearm Certificates are generally granted for rifles required for sports / vermin or target shooting.

Component parts of Section 1 firearms also require a Firearm Certificate, as do accessories, such as sound moderators.

The Firearm Certificate will specify the type and calibre of each firearm (and amount of corresponding ammunition, not applicable to air weapon ammunition) that may be possessed.

More dangerous firearms, classified as ‘prohibited weapons’ are covered by Section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968, and generally require authority from the Scottish Government.

Good Reason

Applicants must have a 'Good Reason' for all firearms they may wish to possess. This may be evidenced by having authority to shoot over land, or membership of a Target Shooting Club. In respect of renewals, 'Good Reason' will be shown through regular use of all firearms possessed.

The application form for a Firearm Certificate (Form 201) is available below.

This form can be downloaded direct, or you can obtain them from any Police Station or you can send a stamp addressed A4 or A5 envelope with a 1st class large letter stamp affixed to your local Licensing Centre. Currently it is not possible to submit this form electronically.

A Firearms certificate is valid for 5 years.


Please note - new fees come into effect from 6th April 2015 as follows:   

Firearm certificate: Grant - £88
Firearm certificate: Renewal - £62
Shot gun certificate: Grant - £79.50
Shot gun certificate: Renewal - £49
Registered firearms dealer: Grant / renewal - £200
Visitors’ permit: Individual - £20
Visitors’ permit: Group (six or more permits) - £100  Game fairs: Grant - £13
Replacement certificate: £4
Variation (not like for like): applicable only to firearm certificates - £20

Co-terminous certificates

Grant of both shotgun and firearm certificates - £90
Grant of a shotgun certificate/renewal of firearm certificate - £90
Renewal of a shotgun certificate/grant of a firearm certificate - £90
Renewal of both shotgun and firearm certificates - £65

Make cheques payable to the SCOTTISH POLICE AUTHORITY.


Certificate holders will be reminded by letter that their certificate(s) is due for renewal 16 weeks in advance of their expiry. At this time, the certificate holder will be advised of the enquiry process and the next steps to be taken. At this time, details will be provided that will allow payment to be made directly into a dedicated Police Scotland Firearms Licensing bank account. This can be done online using the banks internet banking facility, or in person at any bank branch using the slip provided.

The certificate holder must complete a renewal application using Form 201, as soon as practicable to enable us to issue new certificates before the current one expire. This form can be downloaded below.

Form 201 can be completed online; however, it will require to be downloaded/printed in order that it may be signed. Alternatively, send a stamped addressed A4 or A5 envelope, with a 1st class large letter stamp affixed to your local Firearm and Explosive Licensing Processing Centre.

It is important to note that once completed, the application should not be sent to Police Scotland. A Firearms Enquiry Officer will be in contact with you to make an appointment to attend your home address, collect your completed application and photographs and carry out the relevant enquiry.

If you do not wish to renew your certificates please make contact with our office as soon as possible and we will provide advice and assistance.

Variation Applications

An application to vary a firearm certificate may be made at any time. In general terms:

  • Where the number of firearms are increased a fee is payable.
  • A rifle may be exchanged for another of the same general calibre and type. This is known as 'one for one' to replace a worn firearm or acquire a preferred one. In practice, the old firearm should be disposed of, a 'one for one' variation applied for within 7 days and the new firearm acquired when granted.
  • Where the variation involves substantial change of weapon type then enquiry will be made by a licensing officer.

The Firearm application form required for a variation is available below (Form 201V).

The completed form and fee of £20.00 made payable to the SCOTTISH POLICE AUTHORITY (only payable if you are increasing your number of firearms), should be returned to your local Firearms and Explosives Licensing.

Shotgun Certificates

A Shot Gun Certificate must be held for any 'Shot Gun'. For the full definition please refer to the follow weblink -

Application for a Shot Gun Certificate Form 201 is available below.

This form can be downloaded direct, or you can obtain one from any Police Station, or you can send a stamp addressed A4 or A5 envelope with a 1st class large letter stamp affixed to your local Licensing Centre.

Currently it is not possible to submit this form electronically.


A Shotgun certificate is valid for 5 years.

Shot Gun CertificatesFee
Replacement £4.00

Email Contacts

To email your local firearms licensing admin centre, please click on the following links:

Aberdeen & Moray -

Central Scotland -

Dumfries -

Fife -

Glasgow -

Highlands and Islands -

Lothian & Borders -

Tayside -

When applying for a licence please read the application notes first to ensure the application form is completed correctly.

The forms below are new as of the 1st of April 2017. If you have printed forms prior to this date but have not yet submitted them, please print and complete the new version. Forms submitted to Firearms Licensing prior to this date will be processed as normal.

How much will the air weapon certificate cost?

The fee is £72. Please see chart on The Air Weapons Licensing (Scotland) Regulations 2016 page for further fees.


Please note: The Equality Monitoring Form within Part H in form 201 below (application for grant of firearms or shotgun) MUST NOT be completed.


Related Documents

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