BASC is urging its members to ensure they have appropriate arrangements in place for their airguns as the introduction of new legislation in Scotland approaches. From 31 December this year, the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 will make it an offence to use, possess, purchase or acquire an airgun in Scotland without holding an air weapon certificate. Existing firearm or shotgun certificate holders will still be able to use and possess airguns until their current certificate expires.
Dr Colin Shedden, BASC director Scotland, said: “To date, Police Scotland have received 8320 applications. All of those received before 31 October will hopefully be processed before the legislation comes into force. But the most recent ones will not be processed in time, therefore people will have to make alternative storage arrangements.
“The most reliable estimate is that there are over 500,000 airguns in Scotland. Even excluding those owned by the 52,000 firearm and shotgun certificate holders, that leaves a large number of airguns unaccounted for. “If individuals have not applied for their air weapon certificate or if they have applied after 31 October, they will need to make arrangements for the airguns. “There are several options available. They can either give it to someone who is currently licensed, sell the airgun to a registered firearms dealer or hand it in to their local police station. Those in possession of an airgun without a certificate after 31 December could face a custodial sentence and fine.” BASC, the UK’s largest shooting organisation, has previously said the system to license airguns in Scotland is a costly and bureaucratic mistake.