Bor­row­ing a gun

Over­all the Polic­ing and Crime Act does make the loan and bor­row­ing of a ri­fle or shot­gun less re­stric­tive, but I can fore­see some teething trou­bles with the pa­per­work as­pect


ew leg­is­la­tion re­lat­ing to the bor­row­ing of ri­fles and shot­guns, for use on pri­vate premises by peo­ple without a cer­tifi­cate, came into force on 2 May, as part of the Polic­ing and Crime Act. Although the le­gal word­ing is a bit con­vo­luted, and pa­per­work has crept in, the over­all ef­fect is sim­pler than the old law and ap­plies to ri­fles and shot­guns through­out Great Bri­tain.

NAge lim­its

Firstly, there are some age lim­its. The lender must be aged 18 or over and, in the case of a ri­fle, the bor­rower must be aged 17 or over. There is no age limit for bor­row­ing a shot­gun. This per­pet­u­ates the ano­maly whereby you can get a firearm cer­tifi­cate at 14 then bor­row or be given a ri­fle and use it un­su­per­vised, but you need to be 17 to bor­row one and use it in the pres­ence of the lender.


A gun may only be loaned/bor­rowed on pri­vate premises and for spe­cific pur­poses. These are hunt­ing an­i­mals or shoot­ing game or ver­min and/or shoot­ing at ar­ti­fi­cial tar­gets. Wild­fowl are not men­tioned here, but the dic­tio­nary de­fines game as wild an­i­mals and birds hunted for food and sport, so in­cludes wild­fowl. Ar­ti­fi­cial tar­gets in­cludes clays and the pa­per tar­gets cus­tom­ar­ily used on a range. Pri­vate premises means land to which the pub­lic do not have ac­cess other than with per­mis­sion of the landowner or ten­ant. Some parts of the fore­shore may be pri­vate premises, but much of it is not. Wild­fowl­ing clubs should check their leases be­fore al­low­ing the loan of shot­guns.


The new law re­quires that the lender no longer has to be the oc­cu­pier, but must be a per­son who has the right to al­low oth­ers to en­ter the premises for the pur­pose of hunt­ing an­i­mals or shoot­ing game or ver­min. This would usu­ally be the landowner or the shoot­ing ten­ant, but other per­sons may have such a right.

Al­ter­na­tively the lender may be some­one who is au­tho­rised in writ­ing by the per­son who has the rights of per­mit­ting en­try. In other words you can bor­row a gun from some­one else, such as an­other per­son on the shoot, pro­vided they have prior writ­ten author­ity to lend. In all cases the lender must have a cer­tifi­cate in re­spect of the

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