In the UK to aquire a rifle you must have a valid Firearms Certificate (FAC)
To obtain a FAC you must be able to demonstrate good reason for requiring a rifle. Good reason may be considered as membership of a target shooting club with 6 months probation a requirement or for hunting/stalking and pest control. In the case of the latter written permission to carry out shooting is usually required.
You must also be able to provide 2 valid references to support your application for a FAC.
In the UK there are 2 types of rifle available Bolt Action Centrefire rifles or Semi automatic or bolt action Rimfire rifles. Semi automatic centrefire rifles were banned after the 1988 Firearms Act (amendment)
For each firearm you must demonstrate a need and apply (at cost) for a variation on your certificate. It maybe be quite difficult to obtain 2 rifles of the same calibre. There are also certain requirements regarding what calibre can be used for hunting certain animals. You must only use your Firearm within the conditions specifed on your licence or you will be committing an offence.
It is the opinion of Firearms UK that the current UK firearms law is very cumbersome, lacks a lot of common sense and people can easily fall foul of it. One example of this is you could have a gun owner who is licenced for .308 for deer stalking and a .223 for foxing. Now even if you were on private land and were completely safe if you used the .308 to dispatch a fox you would be committing an offence and could end up in a lot of trouble. For this reason it is extremely important to ensure that the conditions stated on your FAC match those that you intend to use the firearms for.
We feel the law could be greatly simplified and relaxed respecting both the rights of law abiding citizens who wish to take up shooting and also ensuring public safety.