The Firearms Act requires an applicant, for the grant or renewal of a firearm certificate, to supply the names and addresses of two people who have agreed to act as referees for them.
The main difference is you need two referees, each having to complete a “Reference Form” called a Form 125, as shown below. This is the same colour blue as the firearm grant form (Form 101). Please make sure you receive two reference forms with your application form.
What they need to do
When an applicant for the grant of a firearm certificate completes Form101, they should enter the details of their two referees in Part E.
Each of the referees should read the completed application form, before signing and dating the declaration. The referees should then be given a copy of the Form 125, to be completed in private.
It is essential that the referee completes all sections fully, particularly questions 15-18 in Part C. If any are left blank or not completed satisfactorily, the form will be returned to the referee resulting in delay. Answering these questions with “no” or “none” or “n/a” is not acceptable and unhelpful in helping the enquiry officer to assess the applicant. It could result in the enquiry officer deciding the referee does not know the applicant personally, as required.
The criteria for acceptability is much the same as for shotgun countersignatures, except in the case of renewal of a firearms certificate for target shooting where one of the referees must be a club official of the approved club named on the applicant’s firearms certificate.
In these circumstances it is not a requirement for the club official to have known the applicant personally for at least two years and Registered Firearms Dealers can act as referees, if they are also club officials. The second referee must not be a member of any target shooting club. For the grant of a firearms certificate it is not essential for one of the referees to be a club official.
When fully completed the referee must sign and date the declaration, returning the reference form direct to the Firearms & Explosives Licensing Department within 28 days. It must not be shown or returned to the applicant for submission and the reference should be given freely and not on payment.
If the referee knows of any reason which the Chief Officer of police should be aware of they should include it on the form. They should also mention anything giving concern about the applicant’s suitability to possess firearms. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence, but the referee could be interviewed by police to clarify anything on the form.