FAQs

Haven’t found what you need in the FAQs? Please use our contact form for any further queries.

Can members of my family or friends transport my firearm for me?

Others may not transport your firearm unless they hold a valid certificate or permit in their own right for the weapons concerned.

What makes me prohibited from possessing a firearm?

Section 21 of the Firearms Act 1968 prohibits a person from possession of any type of firearm (including air weapons) if they have been given a custodial sentence when convicted of a criminal offence.

• If you have received a custodial sentence of 3 months but less than 3 years then you are prohibited for a period of 5 years from the date you are released.

• If you have received a custodial sentence of 3 years or more then you are prohibited for life, from the date of release.

• If a person receives a suspended sentence of three months or more then they will not be able to purchase or possess a firearm or ammunition for a period of five years from the second day after sentence. This timescale has been set so that a person who is in possession of a firearm or ammunition is not in immediate breach of the law when the sentence is passed and has an opportunity to make arrangements to transfer or dispose of their firearm or ammunition.

• A person who has served or received a criminal sentence will not be able to possess an antique firearm. The prohibition applies to anyone who has served a custodial sentence of more than three years or served a custodial sentence, or received a suspended sentence of between three months and three years.

• The prohibition may be lifted on application to the Crown Court. For further advice in respect of this application you will need to seek legal advice.

• If you have any concerns about your eligibility to own or use a firearm, or require advice about legal issues surrounding the possession and use of firearms or explosives, contact the Firearm and Explosive Licensing Dept.

 

Do I need to declare all my convictions?

Yes, including all traffic convictions, offences committed outside the UK and any cautions or reprimands.

 

How do I get in touch with Lincolnshire Firearms Licensing?

The department can be contacted by phone between the hours of 1300-1600 on 01522 558533 and our group email address is FAL@lincs.pnn.police.uk. The office is not open at weekends or bank holidays.

If your call is an emergency please dial 999 or if you wish to contact the police and it is not an emergency please dial 101.

Our Firearms Enquiry Officers do not typically work set hours as they try to accommodate our customers by making mutually convenient appointments. If you need to contact your local Firearms Enquiry Officer please contact the office staff who will pass a message on for you.

If you have a firearms enquiry which you are unable to find the answer in the frequently asked questions section or elsewhere on our website then you can contact the department on FAL@lincs.pnn.police.uk or use the Firearms Licensing Online Portal Contact us page.

 

Should I notify sales and / or acquisitions?

Yes. The transfer of firearms, shotguns or ammunition must be in person. The buyer must produce to the seller their certificate entitling them to purchase, or acquire, the weapons or ammunition. Firearms legislation requires all notifications, including sales or acquisitions abroad to be sent to your local police firearms department within 7 days of the transaction. Failure to comply with any of the sections is an offence punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to six months, a fine of up to £2,000, or both. You can notify us using our online acquisition notification form or sale or disposal of firearms form. Fax and hard copy notifications can also be sent. We do not require your original certificate to be sent in for this.

If a shotgun is possessed for more than 72 hours, you must notify the Firearms & Explosives Licensing Department.

What should I do if I unexpectedly come into possession of a firearm?

You may find yourself the unexpected owner of a firearm or firearms through no fault of your own. Many people inherit firearms following the death of a relative, or discover them in a loft, garage or shed when they move house.

If you find yourself in possession of a firearm you are not authorised for, contact the Firearms and Explosives Licensing Dept.

In certain circumstances you may be eligible to be issued with a temporary permit to possess the firearm(s) whilst arrangements are made to dispose of them safely and appropriately.

If you discover firearms, explosives or ammunition in a house you move into do not attempt to handle them, as they may be loaded and dangerous, contact the police on the non-emergency number 101.

 

Can a visitor to this country possess firearms or shotguns?

Under section 17 of the Firearms Act 1988 a visitor to Great Britain may have in his possession firearms, shotguns or ammunition without a certificate if he is granted a visitors permit.

A visitor’s permit allows the holder to have in his possession (but not purchase) any Section 1 firearm, and to purchase, acquire, or have in his possession any ammunition to which Section 1 of the 1968 Firearms Act applies.

In the case of shotguns, the holder of a visitors shotgun permit may purchase, acquire or have in his possession shotguns, and is exempt from the requirement to produce a shotgun certificate when purchasing cartridges.

Visitor’s permits will normally only be issued for the length of the visitor’s stay in Great Britain, but not exceed 12 months. The permit must detail fully the weapons to be possessed or acquired, and in the case of a firearms permit, detail the quantity of ammunition to be purchased or acquired and held. Visitor’s permits will also be subject to other conditions, restrictions etc, that would normally appear on firearms certificates.

European visitor’s permits will only be granted whilst there is a valid European Firearms Pass issued to them for the period during they will be visiting.

 

Do I need to notify a change of address?

You must notify the Firearms & Explosives Licensing Department, who issued your certificate, of any change in your permanent address to comply with Condition 3 on your certificate, without undue delay. When moving home it is your responsibility to ensure your weapons are transported in a secure and safe manner throughout the moving process.

Within Lincolnshire

You can complete our online change of address form via the Firearms Licensing Online Portal once you have changed your permanent home address. Please forward your original current certificate to: Firearms & Explosives Licensing Department, PO Box 999, Lincoln LN5 7PH. Copies cannot be accepted. There is no fee for this.

Out of Lincolnshire

If you are moving into a new firearms licensing authority area, you can notify us by completing our online change of address form via the Firearms Licensing Online Portal. Your file will then be forwarded to the new firearms licensing authority. It is advisable that you retain your current certificate until the firearms licensing authority in your new area requests its submission for replacement or amendment.

Into Lincolnshire

If you have moved into Lincolnshire, inform your existing firearms licensing authority of your new permanent address and contact details. Once we have received your file and carried out the necessary checks, a Firearms Enquiry Officer will contact you and arrange a security inspection at your new address. Should you need to make amendments to your security arrangements following this inspection, you will be allowed a reasonable period of time in which to complete them. Do not include any current certificates.

 

What is an antique firearm?

Many people collect firearms as antiques. The Home Office recommend that the following be regarded as antiques, within the definition of the word, subject to non-use, i.e. if any weapon is to be used then the antique exemption ceases.

Pre-1939 firearms to benefit from exemption as antiques are as follows:

  • All muzzle-loading firearms;
  •  Breech-loading firearms capable of discharging a rimfire cartridge other than .22 inch or .23 inch (or their metric equivalents), 6mm or 9mm rimfire;
  • Breech-loading firearms using ignition systems other than rimfire and centrefire (these include pin-fire and needle-fire ignition systems, as well as the more obscure lip fire, cup-primed, teat fire and base fire systems);
  • Breech-loading centrefire arms originally chambered for one of the obsolete cartridges and retaining their original chambering

Defining a firearm as an antique is not straightforward. For this reason, if you have any queries, or require any advice about the classification or definition of antique firearms, please contact the Firearms & Explosives Licensing Department who will be happy to help you.

 

Will I be reminded to renew my certificate?

Reminders to renew certificates are sent out approximately 16 weeks prior to the certificates expiration. You must remember to renew your certificate and submit the application form to the Firearms & Explosives Licensing Department in good time. This can be done via the Firearms Licensing Online Portal. There will be no other formal reminders regarding the renewal of your license. The responsibility is with the certificate holder to submit a renewal form before expiry of the certificate(s).

To ensure certificates and applications are processed in time, please submit applications within 3 weeks of date of the reminder to allow enough time for renewal enquiries to be carried out before your certificate expires.

Should your application for renewal be received less than this time prior to expiry then you will be required to place your firearms, ammunition and shotguns with a person authorised to possess them (for example a Registered Firearms Dealer or other valid certificate holder with the authority and safe capacity to do so) should your certificate expire prior to the issue of the renewed certificate.

You can now receive email reminders by registering an account.

 

What is the process for disposing of, or destroying a firearm?

You may do one of the following:

You may give, sell or transfer the ownership of a Section 2 shotgun to another shotgun certificate holder or Registered Firearms Dealer. If you wish to give, sell, or transfer the ownership of a Section 1 firearm, you must ensure that the person receiving ownership of the firearm holds a valid certificate authorising the acquisition and possession of such a weapon.

You may transfer the weapon to a Registered Firearms Dealer for them to destroy. You may have to pay a fee for this service.

You may submit the shotgun, firearm and ammunition to your local police station for destruction. The weapon will be destroyed, unless it is considered to be of historical interest whereupon the weapon may be offered to museum consortium or other official body. Please see a list of the following stations that can accept weapons: Boston, Gainsborough, Grantham, Lincoln, Louth, Skegness, Sleaford, Spalding, Stamford, Market Rasen.

You may have it deactivated, which must be done by a Registered Firearms Dealer and then examined at a Proof House. The Proof House will proof mark the weapon, and issue it with a deactivation certificate. Once deactivated, the weapon is no longer considered a firearm, as it will be incapable of being fired, or being reactivated. Deactivating a weapon must be done officially, by a professional, it should not, under any circumstances, be undertaken by a layperson.

You MUST keep the Proof House Certificate safe, the weapon is not considered to be held legally unless you have both a Proof House mark on the gun and the relevant Proof House Certificate.

Section 1 ammunition may be surrendered at your local police station, or disposed of through a Registered Firearms Dealer or an authorised firearms certificate holder, whose certificate authorises the possession and the amount of the calibre concerned.

Do not attempt the disposal or destruction of a firearm or shotgun yourself. It is essential that you go through one of the appropriate channels, as the firearms licensing authority must account for every licensed weapon. Whichever of the above means of destruction or disposal you decide upon, it is essential that you inform the firearms licensing authority that issued your certificate exactly what has been done with the weapon.

What do I do if I have concerns about a certificate holder?

If you have any family member, a friend, a work colleague or, if through your work in a professional capacity you are concerned that a person may have access to a firearm, shotgun or explosives and suspect they are or may be exhibiting signs of depression, suicidal tendencies, long-standing or intermittent periods of either emotional instability or unpredictable behaviour evidence of alcohol or drug abuse, aggressive or anti-social behaviour, it is imperative that you make contact with Firearms Licensing immediately, so that we can work together to ensure that person’s certificates are reviewed, and if appropriate, their firearms, shot guns and certificate’s taken into safe keeping whilst a full review of their file takes place. You can contact the department by using the Firearms Licensing Online Portal Contact Us header at the top of this page.

What do I do if I lose my certificate?

You must inform the Firearms and Explosives Licensing Department if you have lost or destroyed a Shotgun or Firearm Certificate. A fee of £4 per certificate is payable for a replacement.

How do I cancel my certificate?

Please return your certificate(s) to Firearms & Explosives Licensing with confirmation you wish to cancel your certificate and details of where any weapons have gone.

How can I pay for my certificate?

Cheque or postal order to be made payable to ‘PCC for Lincolnshire’. Payment can now also be made securely online by creating an account and applying via The Firearms Licensing Online Portal.

What is a variation application?

A variation is necessary if you wish to change, add or replace one of the weapons (including sound moderator) on your Firearm Certificate, even if you wish to purchase one identical to the one you are selling.

A fee is only required in respect of variations which increase the number of firearms. If you wish to dispose of one firearm and replace it with another then no fee is payable.

You can now submit a variation application using our Firearms Licensing Online Portal.

Which web browsers are compatible?

To access FLO, the minimum system requirements are as follows:

Operating System:
Mac 10.9 or higher
Windows 7 or higher

Internet Browser:
• Microsoft Edge
• Microsoft Internet Explorer 11
• Firefox 50 or newer
• Google Chrome 53 or newer
• Apple Safari 10 or newer

When will my FLO account be linked with my current and/or previous certificate(s)?

Your Firearms Licensing Online Portal account will be linked with any current or previous certificates after an enquiry officer has visited your place of residence in accordance with a new application form we receive from you.