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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.


Covid-19 Update 12/5/20

North Yorkshire Police are only visiting households for Firearms Licensing matters if it is urgent. We have started to trial video calling interviews enabling us to process some grants, however in most cases a visit will be required in the future before a certificate can be issued. Our ability to process renewals have not been affected by Covid-19 and this is down to the hard working staff in the department, many of whom are working from home. With that in mind I would ask you to continue to direct your questions via email.

Please note that we are NOT answering queries as to whether shooting is permitted and in what circumstances. Shooting organisations such as BASC offer advice to its members but this is a paid service. We simply do not have the time to answer every individual query when the government advice changes. It is your responsibility as a certificate holder to ensure you read the government advice and comply with the current social distancing measures.

T/Insp Andrew Palmer, Firearms Licensing



Covid-19 update 25/03/20

Following recent government advice North Yorkshire Police are restricting visits to only those deemed absolutely necessary therefore we will not be processing any new grants for shotguns and firearms for the next 30 days at which point the situation will be reviewed. This is to allow us to carry out critical functions in the department, deal with the high number of renewals we are experiencing and most importantly prevent the spread of Covid-19. Due to the limited number of staff we have in the office we will be unable to deal with enquiries in person and calls may go unanswered. It would be really helpful if any enquiries could be sent instead to firearmslicensing@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

We have received a number of questions about whether to shoot as the lambing season is in full swing. I would consider this as part of your work and therefore following the current government advice this is permitted. I would consider that any other shooting that is not part of your business and is not essential, is not carried out until the situation has been reviewed.

I hope you understand the reasons why these decisions have been made and believe me when I say they have not been taken lightly. For my part I apologise for the disappointment this will cause our current and prospective certificate holders. I would like to thank you in advance for your understanding during this difficult time.

Further updates will be communicated, I would ask everyone to follow the advice issued by the government which would supersede this advice.

 T/Insp Andrew Palmer, Firearms Licensing


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. 


There has been a couple of recent changes to the rules regarding the registration of de-activated weapons and the security of weapons held by certificate holders who are under 18 years old.
Please click on this link for more information – BASC information
You can now apply for or renew a firearm and/or shotgun certificate online or by printing off a form, completing and posting.

(click on links below to go to the online application or to ‘print and post’ your application)

Please note:- 

                           – we are receiving a lot of unsuitable referees, make sure you DO NOT nominate a relative, a police officer or a member of police staff.  We need to speak to your referees to confirm suitability, if we are unable to contact them we will not be able to proceed with your application.
                           -feedback would suggest it is best to upload the photograph first and then continue with the online 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 to, if you are still unsure then telephone for advice.
                            – if you are applying for a Firearm Certificate and are intending to use your rifles at a club, then you must be able to produce evidence of being a full club member.

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)

Guidance on Wildlife Licenses

Home Office Security Manual 2019

Health & Safety Executive – Explosives Information

British Deer Society

Clay Pigeon Shooting Association

BASC – codes of practice

National Gamekeepers Organisation‎

Countryside Alliance




Online application form

Alternatively, complete a printable application form, and send to: Firearm & Explosives Licensing, North Yorkshire Police HQ, Alverton Court, Crosby Road, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL6 1BF.

Printable application form[pdf]