How to apply for an Air Weapon Certificate or permit

Downloads and Links

Application Forms



Applying for a certificate or permit

Applications for air weapon certificates or permits should be made to the Police Service of Scotland.  The police will decide your application and deal with any questions you have about the process in detail.

Application forms can be downloaded from the Police Scotland website. You can find them here:

Application Forms

You can also download the forms from the Scottish Government's website at

Scottish Government - Air Weapon Licensing

What does it cost?

The fee for a full 5 year certificate is £72.00. 

Other fees apply for visitor and other types of permit, for people aged under 18, and for air weapons clubs seeking formal approval under the legislation.

The full table of fees is set out in regulations and can be found at:

Application Fees


Fees are payable at the time the application is made and are not refundable if your application is not granted.

How are certificates granted?

The police consider every application carefully.  If you meet certain criteria then you may be able to get a licence.  The essential criteria are:

  • You must be fit to be entrusted with an air weapon.
  • You must not be prohibited from possessing firearms due to a previous conviction.
  • You must have a good reason to possess an air weapon.
  • You must be able to possess an air weapon without creating a danger to public safety or the peace.

What is a ‘good reason’ to have an air weapon?

There are a wide range of possible good reasons for the police to consider.  Common reasons might be target shooting (either at a club or another safe venue), participating in competitions or controlling pests on a farm or other land, or you may be a collector of air weapons and other firearms.  

More detailed information is set out in the Guidance, which you can find on this website.

How long does a certificate last?

Most certificates last for five years. 

If you are 14 to 17 years old you can apply for an air weapons certificate and, if granted, certain conditions will apply limiting where and how you can shoot.  This certificate will be timed to expire on your 18th birthday, and you can apply for a full certificate from that date.  Fees for young people are reduced to take account of the shorter duration of the certificate.

Permits, for example for visitors or for one-off events, will last for a shorter period. The police can advise on this when you apply.

Checking progress

The police will decide your application and deal with any questions you have about the process in detail.

You can check on the progress of your application by contacting Police Scotland at

However, please bear in mind that it may take several weeks to carry out the necessary checks to allow the police to decide your application.