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UK Shooting Permits

Shooting is impossible in the UK, especially with your own guns, right? Not so! Simon Thompson explains


ll Americans are familiar with their constitutional right to bear arms whilst in the US, however for those now located in the UK the prospect of using their own guns for sporting purposes may appear unrealistic, especially taking into account strict UK firearms laws. This thankfully is not the case and if you have ever had the desire to participate in that most quintessential of English pastimes, driven pheasant shooting or deer stalking utilising your own guns, then this is a perfectly viable proposition. Whether you would like to use your own guns in the UK or borrow someone else’s, here is a guide to acquiring the necessary permits. Visitors to the UK are permitted to possess shotguns and rifles during their visit under certain conditions. There are two types of permit issued by police forces to those visitors deemed suitable. The first is a visitor firearms permit which allows them to have in their possession a specific single action rifle or .22 caliber rimfire, and purchase, acquire or have in their possession certain ammunition. The second is a visitor’s shotgun permit which allows them to have in their possession, purchase or acquire, shotguns (subject to certain exemptions relating to shotguns with magazines). Shotgun ammunition may also be purchased. Applications for permits must be made by a sponsor resident in the UK and these would usually be a current UK certificate holder or registered firearms dealer. This is a


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straightforward process requiring a Form 107 to be completed by the sponsor accompanied by a copy of the applicant’s hunting licence or membership card of a shooting organisation to which they belong. Applications take about 2 months to process, cost £20 per person and are valid for up to one year. Permits will not be issued to any person whose possession of a firearm may present a danger to the public safety or to the peace, or if they are a prohibited person. They must also have a good reason for applying for a permit and this would normally be for game, clay pigeon shooting or deer stalking. Due to the complexity of firearms law in the UK it is advisable to seek professional advice if you are in any doubt. This article deals with visitors to the UK and does not cover the importation of firearms by those who reside here permanently. Once issued with your permit you are free to possess the specified guns in the UK and to enjoy your chosen sport in the beautiful English countryside.

Simon Thompson of Shoot Day Services is a former specialist police firearms officer, highly experienced in all matters relating to the legal possession of firearms and shotguns in the UK. He is happy to act as sponsor for all overseas visitor permit applications and is able to organise every aspect of your day’s sport to ensure a memorable shooting experience. Secure firearm storage is also available. For a full list of services please go to

The American July-August 2016 Issue 752  

The leading cross-media publication for Americans in the UK - and anyone interested in American culture

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