With airgun licensing set to come into force in Scotland this year, the British Association of Shooting and Conservation (BASC) has updated its guidance on the subject, helping shooters and businesses keep up-to-date with the new legislation.
Airgun owners will have from July to 31 December to apply for a certificate, whereas existing firearm and certificate holders have until their renewal date. The alternative for airgun shooters is to hand in their guns – but the Scottish government will be offering no compensation in such cases.
The new airgun licensing regulations were passed through Scottish Parliament last year, despite opposition from a number of shooting organisations, such as BASC, and Conservative and Liberal Democrat MSPs. The bill was passed by 92 votes to 17.
As the Airgun Weapons and Licensing Bill passed through its final stage in parliament, Tory MSP Alex Fergusson said: “We are left with a bill that will create a whole new layer of bureaucracy and expense. It will take up countless hours of police officers’ time to introduce a licensing regime that will do nothing to reduce the minute amount of crime that a minuscule number of airgun owners or possessors currently commit.”
Now that deadlines have been set for airgunners to apply for certificates, BASC is committed to helping shooters navigate the new laws and ensure their airgun possession remains legal.
“BASC opposed the introduction of air weapon licensing in Scotland,” said Colin Shedden, director of BASC Scotland. “However, with the legislation now in place, and certificates to be made available from July, we will do all that we can to help the many legitimate air weapon users in Scotland adapt to the new licensing regime. The six months ‘lead in’ period (before a certificate becomes a legal requirement) is shorter than we had anticipated and may present a challenge to Police Scotland staff, who will administer the new regime.”
See BASC’s website for more information on airgun licensing in Scotland.