The number of firearm and shotgun certificates on issue has risen again, continuing a steady rise that has taken place since 2002.
There are now 151,413 firearm certificates on issue in the UK – an increase of 2.5 per cent on a year ago and 28.6 per cent on 12 years ago. Shotgun certificates stand at 582,923 – a 2.1 per cent year-on-year increase.
Shotgun and firearm certificates fell significantly between 1988 and 2002 before steadily rising, but still sit some way below their 1988 peak.
The latest figures, issued by the Home Office, indicate that 23,680 new shotgun certificates and 8,930 new firearm certificates were issued in the last year; and there are 3,486 registered firearms dealers in the UK.
A total of 1,377 shotgun certificates and 402 firearm certificates were revoked, while 2.8 per cent of shotgun certificate applications and 1.5 per cent of firearm certificate applications were refused.
Figures estimate that firearm ownership per person is highest in North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Dyfed-Powys, while the areas with the highest concentrations of shotgun certificates were Dyfed-Powys, Norfolk and Suffolk.
The Home Office said: “This is not unexpected. The police forces with the highest number of shotguns per 100,000 people reflect the more rural nature of the areas, with lower population and shotguns used more frequently for employment and recreational activities.”