Various sections of the Firearms Act 1968 allow different classification of “ammunition” for different purposes, however, air weapon pellets can normally be held without restriction, and although firearms dealers are required to have sight of a shotgun certificate before selling shotgun cartridges, there is no requirement to have a certificate in order to possess most types of shotgun cartridges.

Cartridges firing a conventional bullet require the grant of a firearm certificate, but where a charge is brought for illegal possession of ammunition it should be ascertained that the ammunition is viable. A cartridge with, for instance, a non-functioning primer will not ignite and will not be classed as ammunition, despite having the appearance of a live round.

Component parts of ammunition are not generally subject to licensing procedure, although some types of bullet and projectile are controlled, and an appropriate certificate is required to allow the purchase of primers.

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