Licence Forms and Fees

Before you apply

Please note that Police must investigate the history of applicants and those renewing a certificate. Incidents and issues arising which relate to a certificate holder are constantly monitored and are subject to review at any time.

Police use intelligence data compiled from reports and arrests as well as other sources, not just convictions.

A person with a history of violence, irresponsible behaviour, or criminal behaviour can be refused certificates. This may also apply to information or intelligence regarding family members, friends, associates, or other persons residing at an address where weapons may be stored.

Someone whose health means they cannot safely use or possess a firearm or shotgun may also be refused a certificate.

When making your application, please ensure that you have supplied details of all relevant issues, if necessary using further sheets of paper. These issues include:

Details of any incident in which you have been involved where police dealt with an issue. This will include neighbour disputes, financial or business disputes, domestic incidents and street incidents.

This should also include persons residing with you or at any address where weapons are likely to be stored.

Details of any relevant phsical or mental health conditions that you may have been diagnosed with or treated for in the past as this may affect your ability to possess and use a firearm or shotguns, please note that prior to the grant or renewal of a firearm or shotgun certificate we will inform your GP of that fact.

Details of any convictions, cautions and other sanctions for any offences you committed.


The primary fees are listed below if in doubt please contact us;

Grant of a firearm certificate £88

Grant of a shotgun certificate £79.50

Grant of a firearm and the grant of a shotgun certificate (co terminous) £90

Renewal of a firearm certificate £62

Renewal of a shotgun certificate £49

Renewal of a firearm and shotgun certificate (co terminous)  £65

Variation of a firearm certificate £20

Variation of a firearm certificate - 1 for 1- free of charge i.e selling a firearm and purchasing one at or about the same time so that you are not exceeding your current authorised number of firearms held (please ring if unsure)

Relplacement certificate £4

Cheques or Postalshould be made payable to 'TP & CC for Cleveland Police'. CASH CANNOT BE ACCEPTED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

If you are applying for a shotgun certificate at the same time or already hold a shotgun certificate, see paragraph 2 (Coterminous Certificates) below.

Coterminous Certificates

If you are applying for the grant or renewal of a shotgun certificate and you already hold a firearm certificate, you can save money in the long term by requesting that both certificates expire on the same date (i.e. made coterminous). By  indicating required at the top of page 1 on the application form we will arrange for your shotgun certificate to expire on the same date as your firearms certificate. Future renewals of your shotgun certificate will be at the reduced fee of £10.

Good reason for the possession of firearms

Section 27(b) of the Firearms Licensing Act 1968 provides that a chief officer of police shall grant or renew a firearms certificate if he is satisfied that the applicant has a good reason to posses, or purchase, or acquire the firearm or ammunition for which the application is made. Good reason is demonstrated by the applicant showing that he or she has acceptable facilities to use the type of firearm or firearms concerned.

Target Shooting

Please enclose a copy of your shooting club membership card or a letter from the club secretary confirming membership. You will be expected to be a full member. This does not apply to variation applications where there have been no changes in the applicant's club membership since his or her last certificate renewal and the additional firearm or firearms applied for are covered by the shooting club's 'approval'.

Shooting Vermin/ Sporting Shooting

If you do not own the land or the shooting rights to the land on which you intend to shoot, please enclose a copy of your authority to shoot over a separate area of land e.g. if you have permission to shoot a .22 rifle on one area and use a .270 for shooting deer elsewhere, you will need to produce two authorities.

If you are applying for a variation to increase the number of firearms you wish to possess for shooting vermin/ sporting shooting. Please give the reason for the addition. Simply stating 'shooting vermin' or 'shooting deer' is not sufficient. If, for example you already have a .22 rifle for shooting vermin and are applying for a second you will need to justify the need for two in order that your good reason can be assessed.

As of Thursday 25th April 2019 Natural England are changing the licensing requirement for controlling certain wild birds. The current general licences will no longer be in operation which in essence means after this date in order to lawfully control these bird species you will need to apply for an individual licence. The licence required and further information can be obtained from , it is anticipated in due course Natural England will replace the now revoked general licences with new licences.


You will be required to nominate two people who have agreed to act as referee for your application (one for shotgun only applications) who have known you for at least two years. Members of your immediate family, firearms dealers, serving police officers and employees can not act as referees. Referees must be of good character and any refernces they agree to provide must be given freely and not on payment, please note we may contact nominated referees prior to completion of the application. Please see guidance notes for further information.  

Security of Firearms and Shotguns


Please see our guidelines on the security page.

Previous Convictions

All previous convictions must be declared on the application form. It is an offence under section 28A(7) of the Firearms Acts 1968-1997 to make a false declaration when answering this question. It is not permitted to withhold previous convictions by virtue of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1975) (Exceptions) Order 1975 (see notes to part A on the application form). If the exact date cannot be remembered give an approximation as well as the nature of the offence. Not all convictions are relevant but the offender's age when they were committed and the length of time without re-offending are factors which are considered in addition to the seriousness of the offence.


The following types of guns are generally regarded as antiques and, as such do not require a certificate provided they are not fired. If they are fired then the exemption for a certificate ceases.

  • All original muzzle loading firearms made before 1939.
  • Breech loading firearms for rim-free cartridges exceeding .23 calibre but excluding 9mm.
  • Breech loading firearms using ignition systems other than rim-fire or centre-fire, including pin fire, needle fire and contemporary transitional ignition systems.
  • Breech loading firearms originally chambered for obsolete cartridges.
  • These definitions are not exhaustive. If in doubt, please contact the Firearms Licensing Department.


A shotgun is defined as a smooth-bore gun (not being an air gun) which:

  • Has a barrel not less than 60.96cms (24 inches) in length with a bore less than 50.08cms (2 inches) in diameter;
  • Either has no magazine or a fixed magazine not holding more than two cartridges; and
  • Is not a revolver gun.

Shotguns outside this definition require a firearms certificate.

Prohibited weapons and ammunition

A firearm certificate or shotgun certificate will not authorise the possession of the following unless authority has been obtained from the Secretary of State or an exemption certificate applies.

  1. Any firearm which is so designed or adapted that two or more missiles can be successively discharged without repeated pressure on the trigger;
  2. Any self loading or pump action rifle other than one which is chambered for .22 rim-fire cartridges;
  3. Any self loading or pump action smooth bore gun which is not chambered for .22 rim fire cartridges and either has a barrel less than 60.96 cms (24 inches) in length or (excluding any detachable, folding, retractable or other moveable butt stock) is less than 1.016 metres (40 inches) in length overall;
  4. Any smooth bore revolver gun other than one which is chambered for 9mm rim fire cartridges or loaded at the muzzle end of each chamber;
  5. Firearms disguised as other objects e.g. walking stick/umbrella rifles or shot guns, high powered air canes, pen pistols. (See note below.)
  6. Incendiary or armour piercing ammunition for military use. (See note below.)
  7. Any missile which is designed, or has been, in any of the above ammunition. (See note below.)
  8. Expanding ammunition chambered for pistols and revolvers only. (See note below.)
  9. Handguns, defined as having a barrel length of less than 30cm or is less than 60cm overall. There are exemptions if it is of .22 calibre or less, or it is a trophy of war, of historic interest, used for starting races, humane killing or signaling. Smooth bore pistols chambered for .410 and 9mm cartridges are also exempt.

Note: There are exemptions in the case of (5) to (7) for holders who have a collector's condition. There is an exemption in the case of (8) for the holder of a firearms certificate with a condition authorising the possession of this type of ammunition. Advice on exemptions can be obtained from the Firearms Licensing Department.

European Firearms Passes

If you intend to take firearms or shotguns to another EC country you require a European Firearms Pass. Firearms and shotguns are shown on the same EFP. Please advise which firearms/shotguns need adding. The EFP is valid until the date of whichever of your certificates expires first. You should write to the Firearms Licensing Department not less than 14 working days before the date of your departure authorising the use of one or more photographs held on file. There is no fee for this service.

Article 7 Authority

If you wish to purchase a firearm in another EC country you require an Article 7 Authority. You should write to the Firearms Licensing Department not less than 14 working days before the date of your departure requesting it. No photograph is required nor is there a fee for this service.

Processing Your Application

Once your application is received a number of routine checks are conducted. You will then be contacted by the Firearms Enquiry Officer who will arrange an appointment to visit you to discuss your reason to possess, where you wish to shoot and the security for your guns. He can also advise you on any shooting problems should you require it.

The Firearms Enquiry Officer can be contacted by phone on (01642) 302005, or via email at [email protected]

Download forms

The application forms are available below as fillable PDF files to complete and print out.

Please read guidance notes before completing the forms.

The electronic submission of grant/renewal or variation forms is currently unavailable however transfer of weapons forms can be completed and emailed to the Firearms Licensing e mail address as above. Use the links below to complete, print and return by post. This facility is intended for applications in the Cleveland Police area only.

Application for the grant or renewal of a Firearm  and/or Shotgun certificate.

Application to Vary a Firearm Certificate.

Application for an Explosives Certificate (individual)

Application for an Explosives Certificate (company)

Application for Registration as a Firearms Dealer

Notification by Registered Firearms Dealer on additional place of business

Return all completed forms to:

Firearms Licensing Unit,
Shared Service Centre, Ash House, 111 Acres,  
Princeton Drive, Thornaby
Stockton on Tees.
TS17 6AJ