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New firearm and shotgun certificate application forms

Member advisory: GB mainland firearms licensing application forms, Form 201 (Firearm and Shotgun Certificate grant and renewal) and Form 201V (Firearm Certificate variation), have now changed. The new forms must now be used and they can be downloaded from the SACS website via the links at the bottom of this page.

New firearm and shotgun certificate application forms

Whilst the forms remain generally the same, there are several changes, one of which (the medical history question) has significant importance for those applying for a grant, a renewal or a variation.

Firearms licensing medical question
At Part B, Question 10 of Form 201 and Question 9 of Form 201V, now states "Have you ever been diagnosed with or treated for any of the medical conditions in note 5?". This means that albeit you may have been diagnosed with a relevant medical condition 20 years ago and recovered, you are required to disclose this fact.

Failure to do so may lead to you being you charged with a contravention of Section 28A (7) of the Firearms Act 1968 (knowingly or recklessly making any statement which is false in any material particular for the purpose of procuring (whether for yourself or another) the grant or renewal of a certificate).

Given that medical information may be disclosed by your GP to the police, it is extremely important that you state on the form if you have ever suffered from any of the relevant medical conditions, which are;

  • Acute Stress Reaction or an acute reaction to the stress caused by a trauma
  • Suicidal thoughts or self-harm
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Dementia
  • Mania, bipolar disorder or a psychotic illness
  • A personality disorder
  • A neurological condition: for example, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s or Huntington’s diseases, or epilepsy
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Any other mental or physical condition which might affect your safe possession of a firearm or shotgun

If in doubt as to whether a condition may or may not be relevant, consult your GP, contact the police firearms licensing department or, if you are a member, contact SACS for confidential help and advice. At SACS, there is always a friendly voice at the end of a phone to help you.

Across Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales, SACS has successfully negotiated positive outcomes for a large number of members affected by firearms licensing issues, including medical issues. We are UK-wide in the breadth of our work and Scottish only in name.

IMPORTANT: having a current or historical medical condition, which is considered to be relevant to firearms licensing, does NOT necessarily mean you will be procluded from having a certificate. More information is far better than too little and firearms licensing staff will appreciate transparency and honesty. Challenges are usually related to those who, for whatever reason, try to hide issues from the police.

Potential for online licensing / digital application submission
The second important change is the ability to submit forms and photographs digitally, albeit that only Northern Ireland currently has an effective online licensing system. NI have different forms and this change to the GB application forms is simply to allow for future elements of online licensing or digital application submission on the mainland.

A digital system for the submission of application forms, known as 'eCommerce', has been examined by the police throughout the UK for a number of years. The new system in Northern Ireland, which SACS worked closely with PSNI on and stood alone in supporting, has resulted in a far quicker and more efficient turnaround in applications.

Whilst recognising that not everyone has access to a computer or smartphone, this is clearly the way forward for the future. After the success in Northern Ireland, SACS has promoted the potential for such a system to Police Scotland, who use the same licensing IT software system ('Shogun') as Northern Ireland.

And for those without access to a computer or the skills to use one, SACS helped negotiate a dual process for both paper and online licensing in Northern Ireland, which has worked incredibly well so far. We would press for the same in Scotland/GB, but for those with computer access, online licensing should be a much quicker and efficient way forward

Unfortunately, England and Wales use an older licensing software system called NFLMS, which does not lend itself easily to such an upgrade. However, if Northern Ireland and, potentially, Scotland can demonstrate an efficient and simple online system, then forces in England and Wales should follow in time.

Whilst we are some way off a truly online firearms licensing system on GB mainland, the recent change to the law and the statutory firearms forms may allow for applications to be submitted via email, including a digital photo. SACS will be exploring the potential for this as a sensible way forward for the short term.

Single application photograph
The new Form 201 requires only ONE photograph to be sent to the police with your application for grant or renewal. Previously you had to send multiple photographs. SACS will be requesting that the single photo will suffice for Air Weapon Certificates isued or renewed at the same time as FAC and/or SGC as well (Scotland only).

New form downloads
New Forms 201 and 201V can be downloaded via the links below. These are editable, so you can complete the forms on your tablet or computer, save them and then simply print off the completed forms to sign etc.

Tip: remember to keep the saved pdfs on your computer so next time you need to make an application it will be so much quicker.


Click to download: NEW (2018) FIREARM VARIATION FORM