Enforcement and education key to cutting gun crime, summit told

The director of BASC Scotland has told a firearms summit in Scotland that enforcement of current legislation and educating the public is the key to tackling airgun abuse.

Dr Colin Shedden, who had been invited by the government to address the summit, said: “I welcome the fact the government and other parties now see legitimate shooting interests as part of the solution rather than as part of the problem. Our argument that education and enforcement of existing legislation is crucial in tackling the problem of airgun abuse will now be taken forward by the government as part of a media campaign this summer.”

The meeting, which was chaired by justice cabinet secretary Kenny MacAskill, addressed serious firearms offences as well as the more frequently reported airgun offences. The summit was attended by the First Minister, MSPs from three opposition parties, police, the crown office, shooting interests and gun control campaigners.

Dr Shedden added: “One year ago, a number of party manifestos pledged to ban or restrict access to airguns.  Now all parties accept that there are legitimate reasons for possessing airguns, such as target shooting, pest control and sporting purposes as well as recognising the problems that would be associated with any licensing system covering Scotland’s estimated 500,000 airguns.”

ENDS

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