Opposition to the Scottish Government’s plans to license all low-powered airguns will be demonstrated to the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee when it is presented with a 21,000 signature petition.
The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) opposes the plans to introduce a licensing scheme for airguns in Scotland, which threatens to become a costly and unnecessary bureaucratic nightmare for hard-pressed police forces to administer.
Colin Shedden, director of BASC Scotland said: “The use of airguns is heavily regulated in law. In Scotland crimes and offences involving airguns have dropped by 71% in the past five years. This has been achieved through education campaigns by the Scottish Government and organisations such as BASC and by enforcement of existing legislation by the police. Continuing a programme of enforcement and education is far more likely to reduce crime and protect public safety than introducing a new layer of licensing and administration.”
A recent Scottish Government consultation on the detail of air gun licensing received 1,101 responses, of which 87% were opposed to the principle of licensing air guns.
The petition to be put before the committee has been organised and collated by BASC member Dave Ewing. BASC will attend the meeting with Mr Ewing, who said: “I created the petition because I am passionate about shooting and want to defend it. The proposals by the Scottish Government will not only discourage people from getting into shooting but will create complicated administration and unnecessary financial cost to both the police and the applicant. I hope the voices of 21,000 people who are saying no to airgun licensing in Scotland will be listened to when the petition is presented to the Public Petitions Committee.”