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When applying for a shotgun or firearms certificate it is best to do nothing in relation to security until a Field Officer has paid you a visit.

The officer will make a mutually convenient appointment to visit your home after all relevant enquiries have been completed.

During the visit your domestic security will be assessed and advice will be given on any necessary improvements that will need to be made.

The Firearms Act states that the weapons must be kept safe and secure at all times to prevent unauthorised access, as far as is reasonably practical.

However, the Chief Constable needs to be satisfied that they can be stored safety before granting a certificate. Therefore the following conditions must be met:

  1. All shotguns and firearms must be kept in bona fide gun cabinets
  2. Cabinets must be located in the main building of the house and not in a garage or outbuilding
  3. The cabinets must be rawl-bolted to a solid brick wall and out of sight of casual callers
  4. Section 1 ammunition must be stored securely and separately from section 1 weapons

British Standards

The security of the weapon is second only to the vetting of the applicant and British Standards gun cabinets (BS7558) are highly recommended.

The external security of your home should also meet BS8220 - the level of security required for home contents insurance cover.

BS8220 requires the fitting of a five-lever mortice dead lock to the front door. Any accessible windows large enough to be climbed through should be capable of being locked with a removable key. Rear door should be secured by mortice or slide bolts and patio doors fitted with anti-lift bolts.


Firearms Licensing Officer
Devon & Cornwall Police, Firearms & Explosives Licensing Department
Police Headquarters
Middlemoor, Exeter

Tel: 01392 225650

Non Emergency Directory (NED)

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