Disclosure Details

Firearms licensing - 1169/16

Dated: 01 Nov 2016

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

Thank you for your e mail dated 21 October 2016 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police. 

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions. 

You asked:

For the calendar years 2013, 2014, 2015, and for 2016 to date, could you please tell me: 

1. What the average waiting time for the successful completion of a new firearms licence application process was in your area, ie, how long on average people waited between submitting their application and receiving their first licence (renewals excluded)? 

2. What the average waiting time for a firearms licence renewal was in your area?

3. How many first time firearm licence applications were made? 

4. How many first time applications were unsuccessful? 

5. How many members of staff you employ to process firearms licence applications?


We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention. 

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Firearms Licensing Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police. 

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows. 


2013 – 42 days (firearm) 49 days (shotgun)

2014 – 53 days (firearm) 57 days (shotgun)

2015 – 56 days (firearm) 57 days (shotgun)

2016 – 45 days (firearm) 53 days (shotgun) 


2013 – 40 days (firearm) 41 days (shotgun)

2014 – 34 days (firearm) 45 days (shotgun)

2015 – 38 days (firearm) 41 days (shotgun)

2016 – 50 days (firearm) 50 days (shotgun) 


2013 –  173 (firearm) 382 (shotgun)

2014 –  191 (firearm) 436 (shotgun)

2015 – 223 (firearm) 499 (shotgun)

2016 – 202 (firearm) 381 (shotgun) 


Please note that some applicants may have applied for both a firearm and shotgun certificate which were subsequently both refused. 

2013 – 5 (firearm)  25 (shotgun) applications were refused

2014 – 6 (firearm) 25 (shotgun) applications were refused

2015 –  7 (firearm) 20 (shotgun) applications were refused

2016 – 4 (firearms) 13 (shotgun) application were refused 


Please note that the firearms licensing team conduct a number of tasks in addition to processing firearms licensing applications including risk assessments, home visits, inspections to registered firearms dealers, explosive site inspections etc. 

2013 – 9 fte

2014 – 9 fte 

2015 – 9 fte

2016 – 9 fte

fte - full time equivalent


Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another.  Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data.  For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.