The Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill was introduced on 15 May, grouping a proposed airgun licensing scheme for Scotland with alcohol licensing, scrap metal dealers and sexual entertainment venues.
The proposals are much as expected but we were surprised by its timing. We thought that it would have been held back until after the referendum in September.
The Bill intends that all individuals wishing to possess or purchase an air rifle or air pistol will need to have an Air Weapon Certificate. Visitors to Scotland wishing to bring an airgun with them will be required to apply for a Visitor Permit. Even the 60,000 people who already have either a Shotgun Certificate or a Firearm Certificate will eventually need to apply for an Air Weapon Certificate as well.
It is unlikely that this Bill will receive serious scrutiny by the lead Committee (the Local Government and Regeneration Committee) until October. BASC will maintain its opposition to the Bill but if it does go ahead it is unlikely to be enacted until 2016 or beyond.