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Firearms and Explosive Licensing Department (FELD)

Our aim is to provide a professional and accountable service in the management of Firearms and Explosive Licensing for the residents and visitors to North Yorkshire and the City of York.


Certificate holders must be aware that if they surrender any weapons that are held on their firearm or shotgun certificate, they must inform their Firearms Licensing Department so their records  can be amended accordingly.  An e-mail will be acceptable and we do not require your certificate.

Important Information – General Licences.

In April 2019, Natural England revoked all of the existing general licences that cover the control of 16 wild bird species.  Since then the Department for Environment  Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have taken over responsibility for replacing the licences and  have recently announced three new General Licences (GL34, GL35 and GL36).  They have suggested that there will be a full review of the licences later in the year.  Any queries should be directed to DEFRA or for general wildlife enquiries contact your local Wildlife Crime Officer.


Important Information on security

Always keep your guns locked away when not in use.

Don’t hang cabinet keys up where they can be found.

Don’t divulge the whereabouts of your cabinet keys to unauthorised people… This includes your family!

Keep your guns locked up and keep your keys hidden. 



You can now apply or renew a firearm/shotgun certificate online.  Payment can be made and photographs uploaded.    

Please note:- as from the 21st June 2019, a photograph must accompany every application.  The online process has been amended to reflect this and will not allow you to complete the application until a photograph has been uploaded.  As this is a new process, initial feedback would suggest it is best to upload the photograph first and then continue with the application form.

We have recently received a number of applications from people living outside of North Yorkshire.  If you are close to a border or uncertain as to which Police Force to apply to,  as a general rule – check who you pay your Council Tax too.

The Firearms and Explosive Licensing Department works to The Code of Ethics which is a nationally adopted set of behaviours that combine police regulations and police staff standards of behaviour.

Our priority is to support the legal, safe and secure possession of firearms. We consider all Firearm licensing  applications with fairness and process them with respect and efficiency.

We function to administer two acts:

Our team is currently made up of Administration Officers and Firearm Enquiry Officers (FEO).  A number of our FEOs are also trained as Explosives Liaison Officers (ELO).

Administration Officers

We process all paperwork received into the Department.

We have direct links with operational police officers and intelligence data which have come from reports and arrests, not just convictions.

We constantly monitor incidents and undertake the necessary vetting of each applicants history and medical status. These procedures can take some time, but are essential to ensure that the legal ownership of a firearm, shotgun or explosive is not granted to the wrong person.

We may refuse a certificate to an applicant if they or occupants at the same address have a history of violence, irresponsible or criminal behaviour.

A large amount of our time is spent chasing renewal applications for certificates that are due to expire and returning incomplete application forms.  The prompt submission of application forms and attention to the necessary information required, releases the valuable resources necessary to keep the Department up to date.

Firearms Enquiry Officers (FEO)

Firearms Enquiry Officers are responsible for dealing with a range of enquiries relating to the grant, variation and renewal of firearms, shotgun and explosives certificates.

Working primarily with members of the public, they are required to interview applicants to assess suitability and conduct inspection of applicants’ security arrangements for the safe storage of firearms, ammunition, shotguns and explosives. To provide specialist advice to members of the public, police officers, and other members of support staff on matters relating to firearms licensing and explosives licensing.

Explosive Liaison Officers (ELO)

Explosive Liaison Officers from the Firearms and Explosives Licensing Department are responsible for the administration and enforcement of the following legislation and are appointed as Inspectors under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 for this purpose.

North Yorkshire Police HQ, Alverton Court, Crosby Road, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL6 1BF ( for satnav use DL6 1AA)

This site is not monitored 24 hours a day – in an emergency please dial 999.


Home Office – Guide on Firearms Licensing Law (Apr 2016)


Home Office Security Manual 2005

Health & Safety Executive – Explosives Information

The British Association for Shooting & Conservation – Codes of Practice

British Deer Society

Countryside Alliance

Clay Pigeon Shooting Association

National Gamekeepers Organisation‎



Printable application form[pdf]