Q320: Can I try shooting without holding a certificate?

Home Office approved rifle & muzzle loading pistol clubs are allowed a number of 'guest days' per year when persons known to the club may be allowed to try the sport under the supervision and guidance of experienced shooters. Visitors to such clubs on other dates (not a guest day) may not shoot at the club until such time as they have been accepted as a probationary or full member.

A person wishing to try Clay Pigeon shooting may try the sport at any club who are in possession of a valid Exemption Permit issued by their local police.

A person may also use a shotgun or rifle on private premises in certain circumstances. A person without a licence may borrow a rifle or shotgun from another person on private premises as long as:

  • the weapon is being borrowed for either hunting animals or shooting game or vermin, or, for shooting at artificial targets;
  • the lender is at least 18 years old, holds a relevant certificate, and either has the right to allow others to enter the premises for the purpose of shooting animals, game or vermin, or, is authorised in writing by such a person to lend weapons on the premises;
  • the borrower's possession of the weapon complies with any conditions set out in the lender's certificate;
  • during the time the weapon is borrowed, the borrower is in the presence of the lender or another person aged 18 or over who holds a relevant certificate; and
  • in the case of rifles, the borrower is aged 17 or over.

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