Shotgun Licence Renewal issues
We are aware that a number of our members are experiencing long delays with their shotgun licence renewals currently, which is of course a serious concern, so we have checked with our Honorary Solicitor Laura Saunsbury to get her specialist firearms advice on the situation.
As long as you have submitted a valid renewal application at least eight weeks before your certificate was due to expire, you will automatically be granted an 8 week extension of your current certificate. However, your application will only be classed as valid and complete if you have also paid the renewal fee and supplied the obligatory medical form signed and stamped by your GP at least eight weeks before your certificate expires. Members are therefore advised to contact your GP surgery at least three to four months before expiry of your certificate to ensure you get the signed medical form in good time to submit your renewal application early enough to benefit from the automatic extension.
As a matter of best practice the police should contact you on receipt of your application to confirm it is complete and was all submitted early enough for you to be given the 8 week extension. Your local firearms licensing department may contact you initially by email or telephone but this should then be followed up by a standard letter from them confirming that your certificate has automatically been extended by eight weeks in case the police are not able to process the renewal before your certificate expires. You then do not need to lodge your guns with a firearms dealer or on another person’s licence prior to your license expiring and can keep your guns safely at home. You should keep this letter with your shotgun certificate and take it out with you when you go shooting as proof that your certificate is still valid.
If you have not received such a letter from the police by the time there are only 2 to 3 weeks left before your certificate expires, our Honorary solicitor advises members to email your licensing department and request they send you such a letter. Once you have the police letter confirming the extension, this together with your original certificate will enable you to continue purchasing ammunition and exercising all the other rights of a certificate holder for 8 weeks after the expiry date shown on your certificate. A temporary permit will only be necessary if they still haven’t been able to process the renewal by the time the eight weeks extension comes to an end.