Firearms and young people
Advice and Guidance
The Firearms License Law lays down age limits, which vary for different types of firearms and ammunition.
- 18 years of age is the 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.
- People under the age of 18 may also 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.
- People between 14 and 18 years of age 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 premises.
- For people less than 18 years of age it is an offence to sell air weapons or air weapon ammunition to a person under the age of 18.
- People less than 15 years of age may be granted a shotgun certificate and may borrow a shotgun under supervision of a person who is over the age of 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.
- People over 15 years of age may be given or borrow shotguns and be granted a shotgun certificate.
- People over 18 years of age may purchase shotguns and shotgun cartridges with a shotgun certificate.
Section 1 Firearms:
- People less than 14 years of age may not be granted a firearm certificate.
- People between 14 and 18 years of age may be granted a firearm certificate but may not purchase or hire a firearm or ammunition until they are 18 years of age. They may borrow or be gifted a firearm and ammunition if they possess the appropriate certificate.