Experts: Airgun licensing won’t work

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAPolice and lawyers have said plans for airgun licensing in Scotland are impractical and will not improve public safety.

The Law Society of Scotland has criticised the planned scheme in a written statement to the Local Government and Regeneration Committee. It said the scheme would not achieve the desired effect of reducing airgun crime, and could result in airguns falling into the wrong hands. Meanwhile, the Scottish Police Federation said the police service would struggle to deal with the additional demand caused by a licensing system.

Alan Balfour, chairman of BASC’s Scottish Committee, said: “When you see evidence from the Law Society, the Scottish Police Federation and BASC Scotland that all leads to the same conclusion – that licensing is impractical and will not enhance public safety – you must ask who could continue to support it.”

And Dr Colin Shedden, director of BASC Scotland, said: “The evidence from lawyers, the police and from people who shoot is that they have all come to the conclusion that the proposals are impractical, unaffordable and unlikely to work.” “In fact, the unintended consequences of the proposed legislation are likely to increase the level of airgun offences in Scotland while doing little or nothing to prevent criminal misuse.”

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