FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- For information about firearms regulations please visit psni.police.uk/firearms
- Further information about firearms is detailed below:
Northern Ireland Firearms Legislation
Firearms legislation in Northern Ireland is different than that of Great Britain so if you intend to visit or transit through or leave Northern Ireland and you have your firearms with you there are certain regulations that you will be required to comply with. The following paragraphs and matrix will provide you with guidance on the requirements for correct documentation and information on the procedures that are likely to be applied depending on your mode of transport.
GB residents visiting or transiting through Northern Ireland
GB residents (including Channel Islands and The Isle of Man) are required to apply for a Northern Ireland Certificate of Approval (Form 30-15.) if they wish to travel to or through Northern Ireland while in possession of their firearms. The application must be accompanied by a full copy of a valid GB firearm certificate which includes the firearms you intend to bring with you. It must therefore be the firearm certificate, the shotgun certificate or the co-terminus certificate. Please note that in Northern Ireland firearms also include airguns and your application must include such firearms even though these are not required to be recorded on a GB firearm certificate. There is no charge for a COA but applications should be submitted at least 4 weeks before the expected date of arrival in Northern Ireland.
Non GB residents visiting or transiting through Northern Ireland
Non GB visitors wishing to bring firearms into Northern Ireland to either shoot or transit through must have an application for a Visitors firearm’s permit (Form 30-38) submitted on their behalf by a ‘sponsor’ who must be a resident of Northern Ireland. The application must be accompanied by a copy of the domestic firearms permit for the firearm intended to be held in Northern Ireland and in the case of nationals from the European Union the original European Firearms Pass (EFP). The possession of a Northern Ireland visitor’s firearm permit does not allow possession or use of your firearm in any other part of the UK
The cost for an individual Northern Ireland Visitors Permit is £16 (sterling), however for a group application for six or more persons (but no more than 20) the fee is £80 (sterling). Applications must be received at least 6 weeks before the expected date of arrival in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland residents visiting or transiting through GB
A Northern Ireland firearm certificate is valid in GB and no other documentation is required. There is however a ban on handguns in GB and to comply with GB firearms law you must have permission from the Secretary of State at the Home Office or Scottish Ministers, if you wish to bring a handgun into the relevant part of GB. If you are transiting through GB to another country then it is likely that you may require a European Firearms Pass and visitor’s authority in the country you are visiting.
European Firearms Pass
Citizens of the European Union may hold a European Firearms Pass, which facilitates travel with listed firearms through EU countries; however, a European Firearms Pass alone is not accepted in GB or Northern Ireland. It is, however, required in support of an application for a Northern Ireland visitor’s firearm permit. Northern Ireland residents can apply for a European Firearms Pass by completing (Form30-34).There is no fee for a EFP.
Travel to Northern Ireland by air via GB
If you are travelling to Northern Ireland and use a connecting flight from the same GB airport on the same day your airline should deliver your firearms to HM Revenue and Customs and the UK domestic airline should collect from Revenue and Customs. Only on arrival in Northern Ireland will the firearms be returned to you.
If you do not intend to travel to Northern Ireland on the same day arrangements will have to be made with HM Revenue and Customs to store the firearms otherwise you will have to comply with GB legislation for possession and use of your firearms in GB.
Travel to Northern Ireland by land via GB
If you travel through GB by land to get to Northern Ireland you will require a GB visitor’s permit for transit through GB as well as a Northern Ireland visitors permit. If you are unable to secure a GB visitors permit (you will require a GB sponsor for this) the firearms may be transported by an Agent (courier service) to the address in Northern Ireland where the firearms will be securely held during your stay This will have to be after your arrival so that you may personally and legally take possession.
Republic of Ireland Transit by Land, Sea & Air
If you travel through Republic of Ireland by land to get to Northern Ireland you will require a ‘Transit through the State’ certificate (Transit the State Application Form) as well as a Northern Ireland visitors permit (Form 30-38).
Ferry companies and Airlines
Apart from the requirement to comply with the firearms legislation of the jurisdiction to which you are travelling, the ferry company or airline that you are travelling with will have its own rules and regulations for the carriage of firearms and ammunition. You are advised to consult with the company when making your travel arrangements.