Bringing a shotgun into the UK for fieldsports

Firearms laws vary massively from one nation to the next, and if you are considering bringing a shotgun into the UK for fieldsports you should keep reading.

Exclusively Scottish can arrange every element of your trip to Scotland to enjoy fieldsports such as pheasant shooting, deer stalking and fishing. The service can include booking accommodation, arranging transportation, gun hire, non-shooting activities and visitor permits to allow you to bring your own shotgun or rifle into the UK.

Plan your shotgun permit request in advance

If however you want to arrange a permit yourself you should be aware that there are strict procedures that you must follow. To begin with, you should ensure that you have applied for the appropriate permit at least 8 weeks before your intended visit. Certain firearms are not allowed in the UK; if you are attempting to bring a prohibited firearm into the country you will be denied entry.  For this reason it is important that you fully and accurately complete the permit application process so that the police will be able to determine whether the firearm you wish to bring is permitted and can notify you of the result of your application.

To apply for the permit, use Form 107 [PDF]. Form 107 may be used for individuals or groups of people.  If you intend to apply for a permit you will need to have a resident of the UK act as your sponsor and submit your application to the firearms licensing department on your behalf.

The cost of a permit will vary depending on the number of people the permit is issued to, and a permit can be valid for up to 1 year, allowing for flexibility in planning and/or multiple visits to the country.  Be aware, however, that the police have the right to place restrictions on the permit.

Check for and correct any mistakes

You should sign your permit when you receive it and be sure that you carefully review it.  If it contains a mistake – such as an incorrect serial number – you need to have this addressed before you attempt to bring the firearm into the country. Failure to correct any error in a permit may result in you not being allowed to bring the firearm into the UK. 

What the permit doesn’t cover

Holding a firearms permit only allows you to bring a firearm when you visit the country or possess one while you are here. A permit does not allow you to purchase firearms while in the UK.  Certain permits will allow you to purchase certain types of firearms; for more information, you should contact the appropriate governmental authority.

When you visit a sovereign territory of the UK – such as Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man – you should note that your permit is not valid and you will need to seek the appropriate permission from the authorities in those territories.

If you wish to bring an air weapon (commonly called “BB gun” or “pellet gun” or “air rifle” in the U.S.) into the UK you should contact The British Association for Shooting and Conservation by calling +44 (0) 1244-573010 to verify whether it is permitted or not.  The law relating to air weapons is too complex to go into here; suffice to say that it will vary from one air weapon to the next.

There are specific rules that relate to the transfers of shotguns or ammunition to holders of a visitor’s permit.  These will vary depending on the specifics of each situation and are also too complex to address here.

For peace of mind have a professional apply for you

If you are still thinking of bringing a shotgun into the UK for fieldsports but you are unsure of any element of the proceedure or have doubts about completing form 107, then feel free to get in touch with us and Exclusively Scottish can help arrange the necessary paperwork as part of your fieldsports trip to the Scottish Borders.