Firearms FAQs | Norfolk Constabulary

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Firearms FAQs

Below are the answers to some common questions regarding firearms safety:

Is there any legal requirement to keep my firearms secure?

The 1998 Firearms Rules prescribe safe keeping conditions to appear on firearm and shotgun certificates.Under these conditions the certificate holder must take reasonable precautions for the safe custody of the firearms or ammunition in order to prevent unauthorised access.

What does unauthorised access mean?

Generally, anyone who doesn’t have the appropriate certificate is an unauthorised person. This includes possession by family members, as well as access gained by criminal entry to the premises. Therefore, any keys to any security device should be kept secure, with access limited to authorised persons. This is especially important if children are in the house.

Where should I keep my guns?

Under most circumstances, it is preferable that firearms should be kept in a locked gun cabinet, which is secured within the occupied structure of a dwelling.

How about my garage?

Garages are not normally acceptable and should not be used unless the levels of security warrant it. It should be considered as an option after reviewing all other locations within the inhabited part of the premises.

I live in a modern house - can I bolt my gun cabinet to the wall?

In some modern houses, thermal block is used for the inner skin of main walls. This does not provide a substantial anchorage point for security devices.  Often, a more solid wall can be found dividing areas such integral garages from living areas for example.

Can I use a gun cabinet which is not British Standard approved?

You can, as long as your cabinet provides at least the equivalent level of security of a British Standard Cabinet.

Do I need to have my security in place before the Firearms Enquiry Officers visits?

No, it is often better to wait as the Firearms Enquiry Officers will be able to advise you on the options, such as the best place to locate your cabinet.


What about transporting guns in my car?

If the vehicle is to be left unattended for any reason, firearms should be removed.


Where it is unavoidable to leave a firearm in a vehicle for a short period of time: 


  • the firearm must be out of sight
  • the vehicle must be locked
  • any immobiliser or alarm must be set
  • if possible the vehicle left within sight of the responsible person
  • where practicable, an essential part of the firearm, such as the bolt or the fore-end, should be removed and kept in the possession of the responsible person
  • where possible any ammunition should be stored separately from the firearm and this too should be concealed from view.

If firearms are regularly carried in a vehicle, provision should be made for securing the firearms to the vehicle’s structure. For example, security cases, cage, cable or clamp.
When firearms and ammunition are to be carried on a journey which involves them being kept away from their usual secure storage, the responsible person should ensure as far as reasonably practicable that they are secure.

Common questions regarding applications: 


How much will it cost?

Firearms License Fees can be found here
Cheques should be made payable to The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk (OPCCN).


How long will it take?

We have a target that the average time taken for the processing of the initial grant of any firearm or shotgun application, from receipt to issue, is to be 35 days.

At renewal holders will receive a reminder, and an application pack, 90 days before their certificates are due to expire. Our target is that 85% of all renewal applications will be completed before the existing certificate expires.

In addition, we aim to reduce the number of thefts of licensed firearms, which result from the negligence of the certificate holders. We will do this by increasing security awareness and standards in partnership with the shooting community.

Our target is to achieve a reduction in the number of thefts of licensed firearms.

We seek to provide an efficient and helpful service to applicants and holders of firearm and explosive authorities.

Our target is that 85% of our surveyed customers will be fully satisfied with our service


Where do I send my application and fee?

Applications for the grant of firearm and shotgun certificates, and firearm variations should be sent to:

Firearms Licensing Unit
Norfolk Constabulary
Falconers Chase
NR18 0WW


Who can I contact?

If you do not find the answer to your question, please contact us: 

Email: [email protected]