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Under section 44 of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997, a person wishing to possess a rifle or muzzle-loading pistol solely for target shooting must be a member of an approved rifle club or, as the case may be, approved muzzle-loading pistol club.

Any rifle, miniature rifle or muzzle-loading pistol club can apply to the relevant Secretary authority for approval. For clubs in Scotland the relevant authority is the Scottish Government.

To apply you must complete FORM 124.

Applications should be emailed to

The Scottish Government will give due consideration to your application before contacting your local police firearms processing centre.

If approved, the club will have to pay a fee to the Scottish government who will notify the secretary or responsible officer of the club that approval has now been given.

When approval has been granted, members of that club can possess firearms and ammunition without holding a personal firearm certificate "when engaged as a member of the club in connection with target shooting".

Approval also allows the police to grant a free firearm certificate to a responsible officer of the club to enable him or her to purchase and acquire firearms and ammunition for members to use for target shooting. Club members may not purchase or acquire firearms or ammunition unless they have been granted a personal firearm certificate by the police.

The latest information can be found at 


An air weapon club can apply to the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Scotland for approval status by completing form AWL-6 found at the bottom of this page. Once approved, this approval lasts for a period of 6 years. The fee for a new application is £45.00.

This allows the member of the club, without holding an air weapon certificate, to use or possess an air weapon whilst engaged in target shooting at the club, another approved air weapon club, an event or a competition.

Members may not purchase or acquire air weapons unless they have been granted their own individual air weapon certificates.

To be granted approval clubs must meet be able to satisfy certain criteria, these include that; they can provide proof of a constitution, provide details of 3 principal officers, have regular use of ranges where shooting can be carried out safely, have suitable security provisions in place, have valid insurance cover to meet injury or damage claims, must have at least 5 full members at time of application.

If you are applying for approval for a new club with new shooting facilities then a Firearms Enquiry Officer will visit your premises prior to approval to ensure that your range and security arrangements are adequate.


Existing approved Firearm and Shotgun clubs can apply for co-terminus Air Weapon Club status by completing form AWL-6.

The approval in this case will expire along with your existing Firearm/Shotgun Club Certificate. You must still provide details of 3 principal officers however we will only visit your premises if you identify new shooting facilities or arrangements.

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