The director of BASC Scotland has questioned why some politicians are concerned about a small rise in the number legally held firearms.
Commenting on the reaction to the publication of the “Firearms Certificate Statistics, Scotland, 2007”, Dr Colin Shedden said: “A 1% rise in the numbers of both shotguns and firearms held by responsible certificate holders is hardly an indication of significant change or a reason to worry. After all, it was recently confirmed at the Firearms Summit that legally held sporting firearms are not used in serious crime.”
BASC Scotland is more concerned that there has been a 1% decrease in the number of firearms certificate holders in Scotland and a 2% decrease in the number of shotgun certificate holders – down to 26,056 and 49,213 respectively. However, this trend of small annual declines may not continue due to the fact that applications for shotgun certificates is at a ten-year high (1,891) and for firearm certificates at a five-year high (1,203). BASC also notes that 98% and 99% of shotgun and firearm certificate applications, respectively, were successful.
Dr Shedden added: “What is clear is that in 2007 over 3,000 Scots applied for a shotgun or firearm certificate, the second highest total in the last ten years. We hope that our work, either through shotgun coaching around the country, ladies days, Young Shots events and our stalking courses, is encouraging more participation in shooting sports. We also hope that over the next two years we will start to see a clear increase in the number of certificate holders in Scotland, just as we have seen increases in both the numbers of Registered Firearms Dealers and applications for Visitor Permits last year.”