There are two main criteria you would need to satisfy to be granted an Air Weapon Certificate and these will form part of the application process.
The first is that you would need a ‘good reason’ to own an airgun. Having somewhere suitable to shoot over is key. If you have a reasonably-sized garden where you have a safe back-stop, as well as being certain that the pellet will not cross your boundary, then plinking or informal target shooting here would be sufficient. Another scenario could be if you were required to conduct pest control on either your land, or land on which you had written permission to shoot on. Police-approved airgun clubs are also accepted as a venue to shoot at if you were to become a member.
The second part is where you would have to provide evidence that you are a ‘suitable person’. Any indication of a criminal history, mental health issues or addictions may require further enquiries by Police Scotland.
Once you have personally satisfied these reasons then you can think about filling in your AWL1 application. Forms can be accessed by using this link.
As part of the application process you will have to provide two passport-style photographs, together with the details of an independent verifier – a person who has known you for a minimum of two years. This person must be of good character and not a relative, a Registered Firearms Dealer, a constable, a member of Police Scotland staff or a member of the Scottish Police Authority and must ordinarily reside within the UK.
All convictions, including motoring convictions, must be declared upon application. Failure to do so may result in your application being withdrawn. Spent convictions must also be included as they are never classed as spent under this legislation.