My wife's grand pa just died after many years of happy shooting in Italy and has left me his shot guns . Both 12 bore , one modern automatic , and a 1930's or 1940's side by side . I think I can get a license fairly easily , living in the countryside , and intending to join a clay pigeon club etc . Questions though , can I keep an automatic in the UK , as I have no interest in rough shooting , and assuming I get the license , how do I get them into the country ? I was in Pisa airport this morning and the list of strictly prohibited items that you cannot carry onto an aircraft includes firearms . I'm not that fussed about the automatic , apart from wanting it for it's own sake , but the side by side is beautiful with lots of silver chasing etc on the stock .Any advice appreciated .
You do not need a reason to own a shotgun in the UK, just apply for one. How automatic is the auto?

You can own a semi auto in this country as long as the magazine does not hold more than two cartridges.

You cannot carry weapons on an aircraft, they can travel in the hold, you must inform the airline.
You can have a semi automatic shotgun but it must be restricted to hold max three cartridges (they are usually made to take 5 or 7 ISTR) and have a certificate from the gunsmith who restricted it. Unless it's pretty unusual that's no big problem.
Can't help on the paperwork for bringing them in but I know you can have them shipped to a gunsmith who will release them once you have a SGC and he's restricted the auto. Any decent gunsmith should be able to tell you.
Thanks gents . This one takes 5 cartridges I believe and I think it is semi-automatic . I have a gunsmith down the road who I will have a chat to about getting them shipped to and restricted as necessary. Don't happen to know a clay pigeon club around Caerphilly do you ? I'm sure there's an association of some kind ?
Thanks gents . This one takes 5 cartridges I believe and I think it is semi-automatic .
It isn't exactly true that you can't have a semi-auto with a magazine that holds more than two cartridges. What you can't do is hold such a shotgun on Shotgun Certificate. You can however hold one on on a Section One Firearms Certificate. In order to get it you will, need "good Reason". Good reasons include Vermin Control and Practical Shotgun.
It's not just a gunsmith that has to restrict your magazine, it has to go to a Proof House and be stamped as restricted. If you want to do this acquisition simply, suggest you sell the semi in Italy, and get a Shotgun Certificate here. Then ship the side-by-side to a gun dealer from Italy (they will take care of the paperwork for a fee) by DHL or someone, and get the gun shop to put it on your ticket.

If you want to use it on the Continent again, just get an EU gun permit from the local rozzers. Depending on where you live, it might take a while for the SGC to come through, but the gun shop can store it for you until then. If you're in the west country, suggest Ladds of Crediton as your dealer, they're shipping guns internationally all the time and offer a very good service.

You could of course do the same with the semi if you want, just bear in mind that the Proof Houses tend to take their time.
I recently inherited a a rifle in Switzerland. I enquired about shipping it to the UK and found out that it was going to cost an absolute fortune. I shall now be hand-carrying it with the help of a European Firearms Pass.
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