A consultation on airgun licensing has been launched today by the Scottish Government.
The Scottish Government says it is committed to introducing licensing for low-powered airguns but the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), has re-stated its opposition to the plan.
According to the Scottish Government’s own figures, airgun crime has fallen for the last five years in a row. Over the five year period from 2006/07, this represents a 71 per cent decrease.
BASC pointed out that introducing a licensing scheme is unnecessary and could be costly and difficult to administer.
A BASC spokesman said: "It is estimated and accepted by Scottish Government that there are half a million low powered airguns in Scotland. Bringing all or even a fraction of these into a licensing scheme will be an extremely difficult task which will involve the use of extensive police resources. We are also concerned that further regulation will discourage many from starting shooting, which is a vital part of the Scottish countryside and rural economy. Airguns are an essential tool for pest control where more powerful firearms cannot be used and they are used for training and target shooting up to Olympic standards. "
BASC will publish a detailed response to the consultation in the New Year and urges everyone with an interest in airgun shooting in Scotland to make their own response.