Firearms and Young People
The Firearms Licence laws lays down age limits, which vary for
different types of firearms and ammunition
- 18 - minimum age for the possession of an air weapon.
- People under the age of 18 - may possess an air weapon so long
as they are supervised by a person over the age of 21. Where the
air weapon is being fired under supervision on premises, this
exemption will only apply so long as no missile is fired which goes
beyond the boundary of those premises.
- Also under the age of 18- may possess an air weapon whilst
engaged in activities connected with target practice as a member of
an approved rifle club or miniature rifle club or whilst using the
air weapon at a shooting gallery.
- Between 14 and 18 - may possess an air weapon on private
premises where they have the consent of the occupier to have an air
weapon with them. This will only apply so long as no missile is
fired which goes beyond the boundary of those private
- Under 18 - it is an offence to sell air weapons or air weapon
ammunition to a person under the age 18.
- Under 15 - may be granted a shotgun certificate and may borrow
a shotgun under supervision of a person who is over 21. The young
person may not acquire a shotgun unless supervised. The young
person will require a shotgun certificate unless the gun they are
borrowing belongs to an occupier of the land on which they are
shooting and that occupier is the supervisor.
- Over 15 – may be given or borrow shotguns and be granted a
- Over 18 - may purchase shotguns and shotgun cartridges with a
- Under 14 – May not be granted a firearm certificate.
- Between 14 and 18 – may be granted a firearm certificate
but may not purchase or hire a firearm or ammunition until they are
18. May borrow or be gifted a firearm and ammunition if they
possess the appropriate certificate.