Visiting the UK with a firearm or shotgun
Under Section 17 of the Firearms Act 1968 , a visitor to the UK can have a firearm, shotgun or ammunition without a certificate if they are granted a visitors permit.
A visitor permit allows the people noted on the permit to have in their possession (but not purchase) any Section 1 firearm. The permit also includes the purchase, acquisition or to have in their possession any ammunition to which Section 1 of the Firearms Act 1968 applies.
The visitor permit holder for a shotgun may purchase, acquire or have shotguns in their possession and are exempt from the requirement to produce a shotgun certificate when buying cartridges.
The permit must detail the weapons to be possessed or acquired.
Visitor permits for firearms must detail the quantity of ammunition to be purchased or acquired and held.
Arrangements must be made for the secure storage of any firearms or ammunition whist visiting the UK. Visitor permits will be subject to other conditions and restrictions that would normally appear on a firearms licence or shotgun certificate.
Applying for a visitor permit
Visitor permit applications must be made by a sponsor, on behalf of the visitor. A sponsor is a person who lives in the UK.
The permit application should be submitted to us if the sponsor lives in Bedfordshire. The application should not be made to the policing area where the visitor intends to stay or shoot.
The sponsor doesn't have to be a firearms certificate holder to apply for a permit.
Permits will not be granted we have reason to believe that;
- possessing weapons or ammunition would pose a danger to the public safety
- the applicant is banned from possessing weapons or ammunition.
Application form and fees
To apply for a visitor permit for shooting purposes, please download, complete and return the form with the appropriate fee.
If a visitor lives in a country which is a member of the EU, their permit application must be accompanied by a copy of their European Firearms Pass issued by that country.
Payments should be made via cheque or postal order, made payable to:
- Police and Crime Commissioner Hertfordshire
Returning your licence application
Firearms and Explosives Licensing Department
Hertfordshire Constabulary Headquarters
Welwyn Garden City
Visitor permit applications are generally processed within six weeks. Always allow enough time for a permit to be processed to avoid disappointment.