This may be a silly question, but I have a five-gun shotgun cabinet and am looking to purchase a sixth shotgun – a gorgeous silenced .410 for pigeon shooting. Is there a law against me keeping more guns in a cabinet than it has been designed for? The gun safe itself meets all regulatory standards.
Harry, via email
Provided you hold a valid shotgun certificate, the law does not prescribe a maximum number of shotguns which you can hold on that certificate provided all of the necessary details and notification requirements are entered and complied with. Under the Firearms Rules 1998, there is a prescribed “safekeeping” condition attached to all shotguns that you own. Each one must be stored securely in order to prevent unauthorised people from taking or using it.
The Home Office has issued guidelines on the various levels of security that are expected. This information is freely available via the internet. In short, the preferred type and specification of the gun cabinet is set out, as well as its preferred location and fixing within your home. It is the security the cabinet offers as a whole that is particularly important, rather than the number of guns stored within it.
Therefore, if the manufacturer has been more generous with the size, to the extent that it will enable you to store an additional gun, in theory, at least, this should not present a major issue. That said, each local force will place their own interpretation on the legal requirements and guidelines, and therefore people’s experiences will differ. It is therefore recommended that you check with your local firearms department first to see if this will be an issue. They may require a further visit to your home and may even consider whether other levels of protection are required before confirming whether or not they agree.