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2022 Statistics on Firearm and Shotgun Certificates


2022 Statistics on Firearm and Shotgun Certificates


The Home Office has just released the latest statistics on firearm and shotgun certificates in England and Wales. These statistics cover the period from April 2021 to March 2022 and provide a detailed overview of firearm and shotgun certificates during that time period. This information is valuable for both firearms and shotgun owners and registered firearms dealers, Gunstar hopes you find this overview an interesting read.


Number of Firearm and Shotgun Certificates in England and Wales 



These new statistics, released July 7 2022, show that there were a total of 151,218 firearm certificates and 522,627 shotgun certificates on issue in England and Wales as of March 2022. This is a decrease of 3% and 5%, respectively from the previous year. Overall, 539,212 people held a firearm and/or shotgun certificate, a 5% decrease compared with the previous year.


Number of New Applications Firearm and Shotgun Certificates and Renewals in England and Wales 

Although the number of certificates has overall decreased in the past 12 months, 98% of new applications for firearms and 97% for shotgun certificates were granted. This being 6,322 new applications for firearms and 15,726 new applications for shotguns.

Similarly, the amount of renewals granted have stayed steady with just 0.2% of shotgun renewals refused and 0.3% of firearm renewals refused. 


Number of Firearm and Shotgun Certificates Revoked  

It is in the revokes that the majority of the decrease in certificates in 2022 has come. There was a 26% increase in firearms certificates revoked in 2022 compared to the previous year, this being 385 certificates (+79). For shotguns, there was seen to be a 9% increase in certifications revoked, this being 1075 certificates (+93).

These certificates revoked could be due to the new rules that allow GPs to digitally mark firearms owners’ records, meaning they can alert the police if a gun owner suffers from a condition that might make owning a weapon unsafe.


Firearm and Shotgun Certificate Holder Demographics 

Of the 539,212 certificate holders:

  • 94% (505,398) were male
  • 0.3% (1,630) were aged 17 years and under
  • 13% (70,525) were aged 18 to 34
  • 19% (104,930) were aged 35 to 49
  • 36% (196,522) were aged 50 to 64
  • 31% (165,605) were aged 65 and over

The areas with the highest number of firearms per 100,000 people are the rural areas of North Yorkshire (2,959), Dyfed-Powys (2,707) and Cumbria (2,559), as shown in the below image.




Number of Registered Rirearms Dealers in England and Wales 2022

As of March 2022, there were 3,007 registered firearms dealers (RFDs) in England and Wales, this being identical to the year before. RFDs made 616 renewal applications during this year, an 8% rise over the previous year.


Final Thoughts

With 439 firearm and shotguns reported as lost or stolen within the last year, a 20% increase on the previous year, will the way gun certificates are granted change further in the upcoming years?

We'd be interested to hear your thoughts on these most recent statistics. Does the decrease in overall certificates worry you, or is it simply a reflection of the changing world?