The UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), joins Scotland’s Justice Secretary in welcoming the fact that recorded firearms offences in Scotland have more than halved since 2006/07.
There were 1,260 recorded offences in 2006/07 and five years later in 2011/12 this had fallen to 514, the lowest recorded total in 34 years.
What is particularly significant is the continued decrease in the number of offences involving airguns. The 17% decrease in offences over the past year represents the fifth successive year where the figures have fallen. Over the five year period from 2006/07 this represents a 71% decrease.
Dr Colin Shedden, director of BASC Scotland, said: “While Mr MacAskill compliments the work done by the police in achieving this reduction, recognition must also be given to educational campaigns by the Scottish Government and awareness raising and training delivered by shooting organisations. BASC Scotland has worked hard through its training programme for Young Shots and with the trade to make sure that those wishing to use airguns do so safely and responsibly.”
“Given the success of these campaigns, and the police’s enforcement of the existing legislation, we do not see the justification for further legislation in this area. In particular, the Scottish Government’s intention to introduce licensing for the estimated 500,000 airguns in Scotland is disproportionate, will be expensive and could well have the unintended consequence of increasing the number of airguns in criminal hands.”