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What is a shotgun?

A shotgun is defined as a smooth-bore gun (not an air gun) which:

  • Has a barrel not less than 60.96 centimetres (24 inches) in length with a bore less than 5.08 centimetres (2 inches) in diameter
  • Either has no magazine or has a fixed magazine not holding more than two cartridges
  • Is not a revolver gun

Shotguns outside this definition require a firearms certificate.

Section 2 Shotguns Good Reason for Possession of Firearms - Grant or Renewal

Section 28 (1) of the Firearms Act 1968 (as amended) provides that a shotgun certificate shall be granted or renewed by a Chief Officer of Police unless they have reason to believe that the applicant is either, prohibited by this Act from possessing a shotgun or that the applicant cannot be permitted to possess a shotgun without danger to public safety or to the peace.