Buying and selling tips

Here is some important advice for buyers and sellers.

Some gun owners keep their shotguns for years, handing them onto a younger generation. 

Others buy a gun for different stages of their shooting career, and may want to sell on their first gun and upgrade to something else. Others want to create space in their gun cabinet and sell guns so that they can buy something different, maybe a newly launched gun or an update of a classic. 

Acquiring a shotgun

You can get a shotgun by buying one from another certificate holder or Registered Firearms Dealer or being given a shotgun by either. 

On the back of the certificate is "Table 2". This table must be completed by the person selling/transferring the gun. If you sell or transfer one of your shotguns to another certificate holder, you must enter the details of that weapon, in Table 2, on the back of the recipient's certificate. 


The final handing over of the shotgun must be done in person. Bill Harriman, firearms office at BASC says: "I always advise people to strike out any entry on their certificate when they sell or dispose of a shotgun. This is a simple red line through the gun in Table 1, annotated “Sold to Fred Bloggs, date”.


A Registered Firearms Dealer selling a shotgun will enter the details of the weapon into Table 2, on the back of your certificate. If you sell or dispose of a shotgun to a Registered Firearms Dealer, he will enter the transaction in his register.

Both parties involved in the transfer of the shotgun(s) must, within seven days, inform the Firearms Licensing Department that issued your certificate in writing of the transaction.

The Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 requires you to notify the Chief Officer of Police who issued your certificate within seven days if you:

·       transfer a shotgun to any other person including selling it, hiring it out, lending it for more than 72 hours, or making a gift of it; or

·       purchase or acquire a shotgun; or

·       deactivate a shotgun or have it deactivated by someone else; or

·       destroy a shotgun; lose a shotgun; or have one stolen.


Section 33 (3) of The Firearms Amendment Act 1997 requires that such notification shall:

·       contain a description of the firearm in question, (giving its identification number if any); and

·       state the nature of the transaction and the name and address of the other party

Bill Harriman also says: "Notification by email is acceptable providing it is made to the address on the relevant police force website. Always ask for a read receipt, print the email off and keep a copy of it. 

“The notification requirement is fundamental to the effective operation of the firearms licensing system. Always make sure you tell the police when you have acquired or disposed of a shotgun and keep a copy of any notice sent. That way you will be covered if you are ever accused of not doing so."

Your written notification to the Firearms Licensing Office will allow your records to be maintained and eliminate unnecessary police enquiries or delays during the assessment of any forthcoming application for renewal of the shotgun certificate.

These requirements apply even if the transaction happened outside the UK.

·       It is an offence not to notify.

·       It is not necessary to send in your certificate for such notifications.