Scotland votes no – but gun controls are still on their way

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Fears about tighter gun controls in Scotland persist even after it delivered a no vote on independence.

The SNP is still committed to an airgun licensing programme, and could push for devolution of shotgun and firearm licensing too.

BASC Scotland has pledged to work with the Scottish government to ensure shooting continues to be supported and encouraged. Alan Balfour, chairman of BASC’s Scotland committee, said: “BASC Scotland will be working on behalf of our members to ensure any new laws, policies or guidance are evidence-based and avoid unintended consequences by meeting the five principles of better regulation: they must be proportional, accountable, consistent, transparent and targeted.

“We want to see policy which recognises and supports the benefits of shooting.”

Shooting makes an important contribution to Scotland. Latest research shows shooting sports influence the management of 4.5 million hectares of the country’s land. It generates £200 million for the economy every year and supports the equivalent of 8,800 full-time jobs.

The Scottish Government’s current proposals include a licensing system for airguns, in spite of the fact that the country’s gun crime figures are at a 33-year low. BASC Scotland is opposed to the scheme, which it describes as “unnecessary and costly”, and says any new laws, policies or guidance should be based on sound evidence.

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