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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.


Important Information – Natural England’s Removal of the Three General Licenses.

What to do if you use a general licence:-

The three general licences, that cover the control of 16 wild bird species, being removed by Natural England are as follows:

 General licence GL04: To kill or take certain species of wild birds to prevent serious damage or  disease.

General licence GL05: To kill or take certain species of wild birds to preserve public health or public safety.  

General licence GL06: To kill or take certain species of wild birds to conserve wild birds or flora or fauna.

It is expected that, over time, many situations currently covered by the three general licences will be covered by new licences.  Natural England is undertaking new licensing assessments to support lethal control of certain birds in defined situations, these licenses will be more specific.

In the interim, until a new general license for your particular situation has been issued, Natural England are working on a simplified individual system.  Again, please refer to their website for up to date information.

Important Information re Brexit

Travelling with a European Firearms Pass if there is a no Brexit deal:-

If the Uk leaves the EU without a deal, UK residents travelling to EU countries with their firearm or shotgun should contact the authorities of the countries concerned, for information about their licensing requirements.

Sponsoring and EU visitor to the UK:-

continue to apply to the local police force for a Visitor’s Permit.  Permits issued before the UK leaves the EU will remain valid until they expire.

More information can be found by following the link on our Permits page.

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.

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 Aministration staff members and Firearm Enquiry Officers (FEO).  Some are full time, some are full time and a number of our FEOs are also trained as Explosives Liaison Officers (ELO).

Administration staff

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 return 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]