Under the terms of the Home Office approval criteria and conditions for shooting clubs ALL members, prospective members and guests must sign a declaration that they are not prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition by virtue of Section 21 of the Firearms Act (1968).
Section 21 applies to any person who has been sentenced to imprisonment or youth custody or detention in a young offenders institution for three months or more. The period for which an individual is prohibited from possessing a firearm depends on the length and nature of the sentence they have served. If the sentence was for longer than three years the prohibition is for life. If the sentence was for three months or more but less than three years the prohibition lasts for five years from the date of their release.
It is a legal offence for someone who is prohibited under Section 21 of the Firearms Act to have a firearm or ammunition in their possession at any time. It is also a legal offence for a person to transfer, let, hire, give or lend a firearm or ammunition to someone they know, or has reasonable grounds to suspect to be prohibited under Section 21.
In practice Section 21 prohibits the possession of a firearm and / or ammunition (under any circumstances), by any person who has been convicted of any crime and who has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment (or its equivalent for young persons) of three months or more.
The prohibition applies in all circumstances, including any handling and / or firing even at an registered shooting club or clay pigeon shooting ground where a firearms and shotgun certificates are not ordinarily required. It also applies to the possession or use of other categories of firearms and / or ammunition which includes airguns for which a certificate is not needed.
Current Section 21 Declaration Form