Do I need to notify the police if I am lending my gun to a licence for one day? How about a whole weekend? Our expert replies

Q: I want to lend my shotgun to my wife to use at a ladies’ simulated game day. She has her own shotgun certificate and will just be using it for the day. Do I need to notify the police or accompany her? There is another event coming up where she will be away for the whole weekend – would she be able to borrow my shotgun for that too?

TOM ESLER replies: There is no simple answer to this, but the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 gives a good starting point. Put simply, the Act requires you to notify the chief officer of police who issued your certificate within seven days if you hire out your shotgun or lend it for more than 72 hours.

This means that as your wife is also a shotgun certificate holder, you are able to lend your shotgun to her for a period of up to 72 hours. This exemption of up to 72 hours will also allow you to lend her your shotgun, not only for the organised ladies’ simulated game day but also for the weekend trip without making any amendment to your shotgun certificate.

If you were to lend her your shotgun for a longer period than 72 hours, that would require you to make an appropriate entry onto your wife’s certificate and to notify the police force that issued your own certificate (again, within seven days) of the loan circumstances. It is an offence if you do not provide this notification.

For the sake of completeness, an individual without a shotgun certificate may only borrow a shotgun in certain limited circumstances. Those limited circumstances are set out in Section 11A and 11(6) of the Firearms Act 1968.