There are different laws in Northern Ireland (NI) than the rest of the UK and you will need to be aware of these differences if you intend to travel with your firearm.
NI residents visiting Great Britain
Your Northern Ireland firearm certificate is valid in Great Britain and no other document is required.
Handguns are banned in Great Britain. You need special permission from the Secretary of State at the Home Office or Scottish Ministers to bring a handgun into relevant parts of Great Britain.
If you are travelling to another country then you may require a European Firearms Pass, and you may require a visitor’s authority in the specific country you are visiting.
From May 2016 firearm and shotgun certificates issued in Great Britain are valid in Northern Ireland. No further documentation is required to enable Great Britain certificate holders to travel to Northern Ireland with their firearms. However in Northern Ireland airguns of over one joule and over are considered firearms. If you wish to bring such an airgun to Northern Ireland, you must apply for a Northern Ireland certificate of approval (Form 30/15). There is a fee of £11.00 for this documentation. Please apply at least 8 weeks before your expected date of travel. This includes residents from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
You must have a Visitor’s Firearms Permit (Form 30/38), which needs to be submitted on your behalf by a 'sponsor' who is an NI resident.
Send a copy of the domestic firearms permit for the firearm intended to be held in Northern Ireland along with the application.
If you are an EU national then send a copy of the European Firearms Pass with the application.
Applications must be received, at least, 6 weeks before the expected date of arrival. There is a fee of £16.00 for an individual visitors permit or £80.00 for a grant of six or more in a group application.
An NI Visitor's Firearm Permit does not allow possession or use of your firearm in any other part of the UK.
Citizens of the European Union may hold a European Firearms Pass which facilitates travel with listed firearms through EU Countries.
To travel to NI you need to get a Northern Ireland Visitor’s Firearm Permit in addition to this.
Northern Ireland residents can apply for a European Firearms Pass by completing an European Pass Application. There is no fee for this documentation.
Same Day Travel
The airline will keep your firearms and you will not get them back until you arrive in Northern Ireland.
Travel with a Stopover
You will need to make arrangements with HM Revenue and Customs to store the firearms, otherwise you will have to comply with GB firearm legislation.
You will require two documents:
- Northern Ireland Visitor’s Permit (Form 30/38)
- Great Britain Visitor's Permit - Please request this from the Police Force for the area in GB you intend on travelling through.
If you cannot get a GB visitor’s permit (which requires a GB sponsor) then the firearms may be transported by an agent (courier service) to the address in Northern Ireland where the firearms will be securely held during your stay. You will have to personally and legally accept delivery of your firearms from the agent at the specified address. If you are not there, the firearms will not be released.
You still need to comply with the firearms legislation of the jurisdiction to which you are travelling.
The ferry company or airline will also have its own regulations for the carriage of firearms and ammunition. You will need to speak to them before travelling.