Airgun owners will need a licence under the new bill, which the Scottish Government have proposed to impose tighter airgun control.
The Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill will try to implement stricter regulations on some 500,000 owners of air weapons in the country. Under the new law, anyone wishing to obtain a airgun must prove they have a legitimate reason for doing so, such as pest control, target shooting, or airgun collecting.
Scottish justice secretary Kenny MacAskill maintained that airguns were not to be banned, simply regulated. He mentioned the tragic death of two-year-old Andrew Morton, who died after being shot in the head with an airgun in Glasgow 2005, as the catalyst for this initiative, and stated: “Such tragic incidents are, thankfully, very rare, but every day police and animal welfare groups have to deal with the results of air weapons being misused. As well as causing daily anti-social behaviour and vandalism they can also cause horrific injuries to wildlife and family pets by those who maliciously target animals.”