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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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Firearms certificates (FOI)

Firearms certificates (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 27 October 2017.


Please can you provide detailed responses to the following:


A total number and breakdown by category (handgun, rifle, shotgun, single action, bolt action, semi-automatic etc.) and calibre of licensed firearms held by members of the public in Jersey.


The number of firearms certificate applications (and separately renewals) which have been refused or revoked in each of the past five years.


A description of how firearms ownership records are maintained (eg paper based / electronic / combination), which authorities are responsible for the maintenance of this information and on what frequency and method this information is reconciled (eg physical inspection of firearms held by a certificate holder).


A detailed description of the process around the sale or transfer of licenced firearms and ammunition between Certificate holders, how transfers are verified and by which authority (eg. States Police, parish hall, other)


How frequently each Firearms Certificate holder is visited and their storage facilities physically inspected. Who from which authority undertakes such visits and what qualification(s) the inspector must have to perform this function.



It is not possible within the time limits permitted for Freedom of Information requests to retrieve and extract the information requested. Each firearm category may have as many as 30+ different calibres as well as numerous types within each category. The below is an attempt to give approximate numbers for each type and sub group of firearm; shotguns, rifles, pistols, carbines and air weapons. Other weapons, such as cannon owned by Jersey Heritage are not listed.

Fully automatic weapons are prohibited (continuous fire on depression of the trigger) but may be held with the authority of the Minister. There are no automatic weapons held by any individual.

Semi-automatic weapons may be held (chamber reloads automatically after one shot fired but requires the trigger to be pulled again to fire the weapon).

Calibre is measured in millimetres or inches, essentially the diameter of the bullet / shot used.

Jersey currently has 1396 firearms certificate holders and 9288 firearms are held on those certificates. The below numbers do not include every weapon in each category.


There are over 2,350 registered shotguns on the island, the vast majority are either side by side or over / under 12 bore. There are 154 pump action shotguns and 147 semi-automatic shotguns registered. There are at least eight calibre types listed on the registry.


There are over 2,216 registered rifles, 1,429 are classed as ‘Bolt action’, the majority being calibre .22” (650) or .303” (400). There are 588 semi-automatic rifles with calibres also ranging from .22” (5.5mm) to .303” (7.9mm), 67 lever action rifles (reloaded by the pulling of a leaver mechanism) and 23 pump action rifles. Over 120 muzzle loading, black powder rifles (Muskets) are registered.


A carbine is usually a type of machine gun, the best known from the war are the Thompson and Sterling sub-machine guns. The modern equivalent is the Uzi 9mm. These will have been adapted to only allow single shots to be fired with each trigger pressure. There are over 165 registered.


1,534 semi-automatic pistols are registered, including 454, 9mm and 346 .22” weapons. There are a further 858 revolvers registered including 248 .357” Magnums and 115 .38” specials (Smith & Wesson). Although both guns have the same calibre ammunition, the Magnum 357 bullet is longer, holds more powder and is therefore more powerful.

Air weapons

There are 590 air rifles and 256 air pistols registered.

Antique firearms

Antiques that are kept solely for ornamental use or curiosity are not registered. There are no records of numbers. Guns manufactured before 1899 or before 1939, and are of obsolete calibre (ammunition is no longer readily available) can be held without certificate. These weapons cannot be legally fired but their use in criminal actions is on the rise in the UK.


The Firearms (Jersey) Law 2000 dictates that the responsibility for the grant, variation and revocation of a firearm certificate lies solely with the Constable of the parish where the applicant for, or holder of, a firearm certificate resides - unless the applicant is the Constable or a member of the Constables family, then the responsibility defers to the Minister. The information requested may be held by each individual parish. A separate Freedom of information request should be made to the Parishes.  Details can be found at the following link:

My Parish Online

The States of Jersey police record electronically the issue, variation, refusal to issue or revocation of each certificate. The information is held against the Police nominal record of an individual. The information that a certificate has been refused or revoked, will remain on the individuals nominal until they reach the age of 100. The police do not hold separate information surrounding the number of refused or revoked certificates. To retrieve this information would require a manual search of thousands of individual names on the police nominal system. This would take in excess of the 12.5 hours permitted under Freedom of Information legislation.


Each Parish will maintain its own records, further information can be obtained following the link above. The States of Jersey Police have a legal responsibility to maintain a register of all those who hold a firearms certificate which includes a record of each firearm held by each individual. This register is an electronic system which is linked to the main Jersey police nominal system. It is the responsibility of the parish where the certificate holder resides to inspect the premises and weapons listed on the certificate for suitability of storage and accuracy of description of the weapons before the issue, re-issue or variation of any certificate.


The Constable of the parish dictates how many weapons an individual may possess. In many cases, the Constable will grant permission to purchase guns in the future by permitting a number of different types and calibre of weapon to be listed in the ‘Authorised to purchase’ section of the firearms certificate. If this is the case, the certificate holder only needs to identify the desired weapon, produce the authorisation on the certificate to the seller and the sale can take place. The seller must record the sale on his records and ensure the new weapon is entered onto the certificate of the holder / buyer and sign to that effect. The buyer must then advise the Constable of the parish of the purchase and the States Police firearms registry.

It is for the Constable to satisfy him / herself that the weapon is permitted on the certificate and it can be stored safely within the current storage arrangements agreed. It is also the responsibility of the Constable to satisfy him / herself that the certificate holder has a ‘good reason’ for purchasing another weapon and can possess it without danger to public safety or to the peace.


This responsibility falls on the Constable of the parish and further enquiries should be made to the link shown in the response to question B.

Exemption applied

Article 16 - A scheduled public authority may refuse to supply information if cost excessive

(1) A scheduled public authority that has been requested to supply information may refuse to supply the information if it estimates that the cost of doing so would exceed an amount determined in the manner prescribed by Regulations.

Regulation 2 (1) of the Freedom of Information (Costs) (Jersey) Regulations 2014 allows an authority to refuse a request for information where the estimated cost of dealing with the request would exceed the specified amount of the cost limit of £500. This is the estimated cost of one person spending 12.5 working hours in determining whether the department holds the information, locating, retrieving and extracting the information ​

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