Firearms certificates at highest level since 1988

RifleStatistics released by the Home Office show that firearm certificates on issue in England and Wales have increased again, and are at their highest since 1988.

There are now 153,603 firearms certificates on issue in total – and the number of firearms covered by these certificates has also increased to 525,125, the highest number since it was first recorded in 1995.

The number of shotgun certificates saw a very small decrease (less than 0.1 per cent) and now stands at 582,494. In addition, the number of new shotgun certificate applications decreased by 9.5 per cent. However, the number of shotguns covered by the certificates on issue has increased to 1,338,399.

The number of registered firearm dealers (RFDs) has decreased by 64 in the last 12 months, with 3,422 RFDs in England and Wales as of March 2015.

A total of 406 firearm certificates and 1,373 shotgun certificates were revoked during the year to March 2015, an increase of 1 per cent and decrease of 0.3 per cent respectively.

Mike Eveleigh, senior firearms officer at BASC, said: “A large proportion of the rise in firearm certificates comes from the increase in the popularity of the target shooting sports, with many clubs reporting that they are at or near the maximum number of members they can manage – this is very encouraging.”

The full statistics can be viewed online.

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