UK Weapons and Firearms Law

What UK Weapons you can own that comply with the UK Firearms Law

firing a semi autoMany UK citizens think that ALL firearms are illegal and therefore unavailable to the UK public – this is not correct.

You have a perfect right to own many firearms, but you must be able to have a good reason to do so.

Please click here for the full UK Home Office Guide on licensing laws for UK firearms.




 Below is a general guide to some of the firearms you can legally own – 



The firearms shown here are:

Top to bottom we have: Civilian Hunting Rifle, Semi-Auto Shotgun, AR15, AKM, Anti-Materiel/Sniper Rifle, Long Barrelled Revolver (LBR ..


As well as the above firearms, you can own a shotgun – 

*in general*, shotguns under 3 capacity (2+1) Section 2 only require a Shotgun Cert (SGC). 

The list List is by no means exhaustive, there are hundreds of flavours of firearms available in UK.

uk firearms law certificate

All these above weapons will require a Firearms Certificate, but, once you have been fully vetted by the police, and have fully satisfied all the legal requirements they are all perfectly legal for a UK citizen to own.







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  1. ComradeAJ

    I feel sorry for you gun guys in the UK. This is a lot of work to get a firearm. Even then, you are only allowed so few. Maybe someday, you can get full freedoms on firearms. I know we are hoping for that here in the US. Fight the good fight guys.

  2. Gabriel Younts

    Are all semi auto pistols banned in the UK? I think k this sight is awesome I love hearing from other peppers from around the world.

    1. C.t.

      You can have long barrelled semi automatic .22 pistols, .357 and .44 calibre. All pistols must be long barrelled, the only standard pistol you are legally allowed in the uk is an air pistol.

  3. Steve

    Darren, why do you say you can only have a Swiss Army knife in the bush for survival? I’ve had mine in my pocket for nearly 30 years, use it almost daily and never had an issue. I’ve investigated knife crimes in the past and most of them involve household (kitchen) knives.

  4. E

    Wow. Not that I know if the UK would ever even accept me as an immigrant but reading all of this, being from the United States, makes me question if Id even want to relinquish some of my freedoms so readily. Great Britain is beautiful, full of history, and my ancestral home but unfortunately it appears that either people are so afraid they voted away many of their rights OR the government used propaganda to further its own authority and reduced eveeyones rights. Because lets face it, jumping through hoops is for people who follow the law in the first place, not criminals who plan on hsingtweapons illegally in the first place…And even still, under the freedoms crushing legislation of the UK, the criminally motivated could theoretically obtain a firearm just as easily as your average range shooter. Its all nonsense based purely on control. Id still like to come though God forbid I accidentally have my “deadly” lockback knife in my pocket….thanks for sharing the legal end of things here, and honestly i mean no disrespect, im merely surprised to see how strict things are in a place Ive always wanted to go.

    1. Russil Alden

      I am preparing to visit England, the land of my birth, from Canada, where I have lived for many years. I usually carry some kind of knife here, sometimes with a locking blade, but my brother warned me that it was a crime in England and to look it up on the internet. When he told me, I jokingly asked me if they were going to ban knives and forks. I could not believe it when I read that it is illegal to sell cutlery to someone under 18!!! Talk about trading freedom for security (illusory). Has not anyone noticed that there are forces trying to disarm those in all lands of European ancestry. When some armed thug, who cares nothing for gun laws, assaults you it is pretty sad when the only recourse is to shine a light in his eyes. I thought our gun laws were draconian in Canada! When I was a kid here we used to go to the ravine with our pellet guns and 22s. Nobody ever shot anyone. Now our laws have changed that. We need to be vigilant in resisting the move to disarm us in the face of rising crime, and governments ever more unresponsive to the will of the people. I agree with Es analysis totally. Also, the same forces are at work in the US trying to gut and eventually overturn the 2nd Amendment. I think they should be resisted at all costs. After all, as history teaches, dictators love a disarmed population. In the upcoming US election there is only one candidate who has pointed out the threat that the 2nd amendment is under and who has vowed to do something about it. That is one of the reasons he is so hated and lied about.

    2. Shevchenko

      Yet we have so little gun & knife crime here. It’s really quite peaceful. Personally (and I appreciate that this is ONLY my view), I’d rather be in a country where people can’t arm them with a small country’s arsenal without any checks on their background.

      I only need to defend me and mine (family, possessions, etc) so I don’t need the things that re not legal. Anyone who wants to carry a short barreled pistol wants to hide it. If the SH “really” HF then I don’t want to hide anything – I want people to leave me well alone!

  5. Gary

    If you go for a FAC, (which you will get unless you are < 18 or have a violent criminal police record), you will need to join a local club and shoot targets regularly (once a week or so). There is a fee to the club, both yearly and range fee's every week.

    They take a register of how often you go, which gets submitted to the local Firearms Officer to ensure you are using the firearm regularly.

    You would also need to store the guns in an approved cabinet – unloaded, and hidden, and not readily accessible – this is inspected before your FAC is accepted.

    1. Sebastian

      Not exactly true,
      I’ve had an FAC (before moving house) i was not the member of a club (not rifle, shotgun only)
      The only reason i was issued a licence was due to the amount of land i had permission to shoot on, there was no regular checks other than the normal inspections and i didnt have to show i was using the rifle on a regular basis.
      If you are a member of a gun club, it does make the application proccess a lot faster though!



    1. UK Prepper

      Anyone over 18 can buy an air rifle with valid id.
      There are restrictions on the power of the rifle though, see my article here for more info:
      Air Gun Laws

  7. Darren Anthony Tynan

    Pepper spray can be dangerous around children, but can save you life in emergency situations such as walking alone at night, the best self defence to have and I have studied this is a Torch with 220 Lumens with strobe affect this will help you to get away from the aggressive person whom is attacking you, and as a trainee Police Support Volunteer, I would recommend the Ansmann 5 Torch with strobe affect for self defence.

    1. UK Prepper

      Hi Darren,

      You are quite right – I personally carry both.!

      The criminal defence identifiers spray and a high lumen strobe torch.

      I have articles and video reviews of both on this site:

      Defence strobe torch:

      Strobe Torch For Defence

      Pepper Sray Alternative For Defence:

      UK Legal Pepper Spray Alternative

      happy prepping,

      1. Darren Anthony Tynan

        Hi Steve thank you for getting back to me I appreciate this very much, I do have The Criminal Identifier spray that I got from Crime Prevention and the self defence torch I got from Amazon. These work better than guns as in America the other day people got shot for no reason. I do use a Swiss army knife but only for horse stables work and the need to cut bails of Hay.

  8. keka

    how are these, and crossbows legal but small knives and pepper spray not?

    1. JC Denton

      It comes down to the reason for owning them and how easy they’d be to commit a crime with.

      To own a gun you either need to be a full member of a target shooting club who regularly shoots (which means shooting under the supervision of an instructor until you’re eligible for full membership and then paying monthly fees) or need to regularly kill animals as part of your job.
      The restrictions on which guns are legal to own largely revolves around how easy to conceal they’d be (you’ll notice that the revolver pictured has an unusually long barrel) and how many times they can be fired before needing to be reloaded

      If you have a good reason (you’re going hunting or fishing for example) then you can carry larger knives and as long as the blade isn’t capable of locking in place, you can have a knife up to three inches long on you at any time except in airports, nightclubs and schools.

      The reason “self defence” isn’t an acceptable reason for carrying a weapon is that (as this website notes on multiple pages) the best way to defend yourself is to attack preemptively and if the guy you stab/shoot preemptively says he wasn’t going to attack you then it’s basically your word against his on whether you were acting in self defence or just attacking some guy.

      Personally I think the restriction on balisongs and locking knives less than three inches long are totally unnecessary, but overall I’m pretty happy with our knife laws and given the tiny number of shootings that happen here, I’m very happy with our firearm laws.

      1. Steve

        “To own a gun you either need to be a full member of a target shooting club who regularly shoots (which means shooting under the supervision of an instructor until you’re eligible for full membership and then paying monthly fees) or need to regularly kill animals as part of your job.”

        Almost right, you just need to show good reason. I’m neither a club member, or need to kill animals as part of my job but I have a certificate for my semi-automatic rifle with moderator and 10 shot pump 12 bore. Pump is used for large flocks of pigeons and the rifle for bunnies at a friends farm.

        Overall, I’m happy with how tight the gun laws are as they keep us relatively safe.

  9. Merica

    How misleading. They’re perfectly legal to own as long as big mommy government gives you a permission slip. It must stink having to ask pretty-please to own a AR-15 squirrel gun.

  10. Darren Anthony Tynan Dip Pi (UKPIN)

    Air Pistols should not be made for children to own even at 18 years old because they are dangerous, even plastic BB’s can be deadly and would be best to avoid this situation. I advise not to carry any knife in the UK even the Swiss Army knife type, you can only have the Swiss Army knife out in the bush for survival. I only carry a pocket torch with me for emergency and Farm Stables duties.

    1. Phil...

      Darren. Your opinions on guns for children are yours to follow, But stating that “even plastic BB’s can be deadly” is complete and utter nonsense. Unless you are advocating eating several kilos of the things? Please do a few seconds research before making such claims. Phil…

    2. chris

      Darren….you are a joking right ? Air pistols have are max 400 fps in uk …more kids get hurt with skateboards than airguns….. and BB’s deadly ?? lol but your best piece of nonsense advice is regarding swiss army knives.. only allowed if you’re in the bush !! what ? anyone is allowed to carry a non fixed blade less than 3inchs so stop the pathetic nanny state bull

      1. JC Denton

        It sounds stupid but kids do occasionally die from being hit with BBs. It’s most commonly babies as their skulls are soft until they hit a certain age. Stories of being blinded in one eye are really common too though I agree that in the grand scheme of things they account for a tiny number of deaths when compared with any potentially dangerous object.

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