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Firearm security advice

Security of firearms, shotguns and ammunition is the responsibility of the certificate holder. They are to be stored, as far as reasonably practical, so as to prevent access by an unauthorised person.

This doesn’t solely apply to criminal entry, but occurs where persons other than the certificate holder have access to the security or the keys. Individual circumstances and overall security arrangements are to be taken into consideration. The level of security should be proportionate to the risk and each case will be judged on its merits.


Where numerous guns are kept, serious consideration should be given to installation of an intruder alarm system conforming to BS4737. All external doors to the premises should be secured with five lever mortice locks. Accessible, opening windows should be fitted with window locks. Alternatively if the premises in which the firearms are to be stored are especially vulnerable e.g. flats, houses converted to apartments or dwellings in high risk areas, weapons should be stored at an armoury or with a Registered Firearms Dealer. In case of collectors, guns should not be openly displayed. The following link offers further guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/firearms-security-handbook

Gun Cabinets

A cabinet used to store firearms, component parts of firearms, or ammunition should conform to BS 7558(1992). Gun cabinets must be attached to a sound surface and the force required to pull the fixing bolt should not be less than 2kN-m. The gun cabinet should be locked by means of one or more secure locks or close shackle padlocks. Padlock shackles should be hardened. The cabinet should preferably be in a concealed place. It should not be in a garage or outhouse (only an integral garage is suitable). Principally, only cabinets which meet the specification BS 7558(1992) are suitable but others may be acceptable if examined by a Firearms Enquiry Officer.


Rifles should be kept in a gun cabinet or within a gun room with adequate door and window security. Rifle bolts and magazines should be stored separately in a similar container which may form part of the main cabinet provided it is capable of being locked separately. Whilst shotguns are best kept in a gun cabinet, an alternative method of achieving a similar standard of security will be accepted, eg in a substantial locked cupboard or secured to a wall with a clamp.


Ammunition should be stored separately to your gun and in a locked container. It may form part of the main cabinet provided it is separately locked. Ammunition boxes should be ventilated.

Transporting Guns

Where guns and ammunition are transported, they should be hidden from view, preferably in a locked boot. The vehicle should not be left unattended whenever possible and ideally have an immobilizer and/or alarm fitted. Where guns and ammunition are transported on a regular basis the installation of a lockable container securely bolted to the structure of the vehicles so as to prevent easy removal by unauthorised persons is strongly recommended.

If the vehicle is to be left unattended it will normally be sufficient to remove the bolt, trigger and/or end of the gun and for the remainder of the gun and ammunition to be concealed from view in the locked vehicle.

If the vehicle is to be left unattended for prolonged periods, the guns and/or ammunition should be moved from the vehicle to a more secure location.

If, exceptionally, guns are to be carried on public transport they should be kept covered in a suitable case and remain with the holder at all times.