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Firearms - Revocation Of Licence - Appeals

What do I do if my shotgun or firearm licence is revoked?

Contact us and ABR Solicitors will appeal the decision to revoke your licence.

Any appeal must be lodged within 21 days of the decision.  So contacting us quickly is important if you wish to challenge the decision.

A certificate can be immediately revoked by the Chief Officer of the police for the following reasons:

  • The holder is of intemperate habits or unsound mind or otherwise unfit to be entrusted with a firearm (firearms licence only)
  • The holder can no longer be permitted to hold a firearm or shotgun without danger to the public safety or the peace (firearm or shotgun licence)

Being of intemperate habits simply means having a lack of self control. Usually, it will be a pattern of behaviour that causes concern but there will also be cases where one-off incidents will bring into question the fitness/unsuitability of somebody to possess firearms.

Firearm and Shotgun certificates have been revoked for numerous reasons including but not limited to:

  • Breach of the conditions of the shotgun certificates
  • A lapse in shotgun security i.e. leaving gun out of cabinet or firing in dangerous circumstances.
  • A relevant criminal conviction which can include drink driving (a car might be equated with a lethal weapon that has been misused)
  • Conduct not resulting in a criminal conviction where the appropriate tests for prosecution have not been met but where there is some evidence i.e. assertions of domestic violence
  • Certain reprehensible behaviours displayed by those sharing the same household as the certificate holder.
  • Mental health issues
  • Drug/alcohol misuse

When the certificate is revoked, the firearms named on the certificate are usually seized. If they are not, but an order is made for them to be surrendered to the police, they must be handed over. It is a criminal offence not to comply with a notice to hand over a firearm or shotgun.


Any person who has had a firearm or shotgun certificate revoked has the right to appeal the decision. The appeal is to the Crown Court and the hearing is held before a full-time judge. When an appeal is brought, the revocation will not be suspended, but seized firearms can be released to an authorised licensed person.

At the appeal the Chief Police Officer will have to serve their case justifying their decision and having heard from both the Chief Officer and you the Crown Court Judge will reach a decision as to whether the licence will be returned.

ABR's specialism in advocacy before the Crown Court and experience in this area could be key to a successful challenge of the revocation of your firearms licence.  Rob Rode is a key contact.


It may be that you have legal expenses insurance which may cover you for the costs. Alternatively, you can agree a fee with us based on our competitive private rates.

Legal Aid is not available for shotgun or firearms licensing appeals.