License a firearm

Last updated: 3 October 2019

You need to have a licence to own a firearm.

You might need a different licence or certificate depending on what type of firearm you're applying for.

You can apply for a:

  • Firearm Certificate
  • Shotgun Certificate
  • Air Weapon Certificate
  • Prohibited Weapons and Ammunition (Section 5) Authority
  • Rifle and Muzzle-Loading Pistol Club Approval
  • Museum Firearms Licence

Firearm Certificate or Shotgun Certificate

In order to possess a firearm or shotgun, you must have a Firearm Certificate or Shotgun Certificate.

Police Scotland are responsible for granting firearm and shotgun certificates.

Apply for firearm and shotgun certificates

More information is available from the Home Office Guide on Firearms Licensing Law.

Prohibited Weapons and Ammunition (Section 5) Authority

You need a Section 5 authority to handle prohibited weapons, component parts, and ammunition.

These authorities are usually only granted to businesses.

Section 5 authorities are granted by Scottish Ministers.

Apply for a Section 5 authority

Rifle and Muzzle-Loading Pistol Club Approval

The Scottish Government is responsible for the approval of full-bore rifle, small-bore rifle, and muzzle-loading pistol clubs.

Before applying, please make sure your club meets the criteria set out in the Guidance for rifle and muzzle loading pistol clubs.

Rifle and Muzzle-Loading Pistol Club Approval is valid for 6 years.

You will need to pay a fee every time you apply. The fees were introduced by the Home Office on 1 October 2019 and apply across Great Britain.

You pay:

  • £444 to approve a new club
  • £372 to renew a club approval

You also need to pay when making changes (variations) to your club's approval. The fee depends on the type of variation. You must apply each time you want to change your approval.

You pay:

  • £300 for variation A – change of club premises, adding a rifle type or adding muzzle-loading pistols
  • £206 for variation B – change of club secretary
  • £36 for variation C – any other change

After you apply, Scottish Government will write to you and confirm the fee. We will also tell you how to pay.

For more information about fees and the different categories, please see this Home Office Firearms (Fees) Regulations 2019 document.

To apply for, renew or change a rifle club approval, please email: firearms.enquiries@gov.scot

Alternatively, you can apply, renew or change by mail to:

Firearms Unit
Safer Communities Division
1W
St Andrews House
EDINBURGH
EH1 3DG

Museum Firearms Licence

Museums that want to display or store any type of firearm or ammunition for exhibition purposes must apply for a museum firearms licence.

More information on museum firearms licences and the criteria that must be met in order for a licence to be granted can be found in Chapter 17 of the Home Office Guide on Firearms Licensing Law.

Museum licences cost £200 and are valid for 5 years.

If your details change and you need to update your Museum licence, please contact us. Changes to the premises where firearms are stored will cost £110. Other changes, such as an organisation name change, will cost £36.

For more information about fees and the different categories, please see this Home Office Firearms (Fees) Regulations 2019 document.

To apply for a museum licence, please email: firearms.enquiries@gov.scot

Alternatively, you can apply by mail to:

Firearms Unit
Safer Communities Division
1W
St Andrews House
EDINBURGH
EH1 3DG

More information