Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Scotland Sets July Deadline for Airgun Licensing

Friday, March 4, 2016

Scotland Sets July Deadline for Airgun Licensing

In a sad turn, the home of the Scottish Enlightenment continues to adopt benighted gun controls. On June 25, 2015, the Scottish Parliament passed the Air Weapons and Licensing Act, with Royal assent following on August 4. The legislation requires airgun owners to acquire a certificate or permit to continue to possess the devices. Late last week, Scottish officials announced July 1, 2016 as the deadline for obtaining the required documentation.

Specifically, the law makes it “an offence for a person to use, possess, purchase or acquire an air weapon without holding an air weapon certificate.” If convicted, a violator faces up to two years in prison.

An applicant for an air weapon certificate must be at least 14 years of age and have a “verifier,” who “in the opinion of the chief constable, [is] of good standing in the community,” attest to the veracity of the application. Law enforcement has significant discretion in issuing an air weapon certificate, requiring that the chief constable be “satisfied” that the applicant “is fit to be entrusted with an air weapon,” and “has good reason for using, possessing, purchasing or acquiring an air weapon.” In considering an application, police may “visit the applicant at the applicant’s usual place of residence,” and “inspect any place where the applicant intends to store or use an air weapon.” A certificate may be revoked under similarly nebulous circumstances. If granted, the certificate is valid for five years, or in the case of minor, until the holder turns 18.

Alternatively, law enforcement may issue a “police permit,” “visitor permit,” or “event permit” in order for those lacking an air weapon certificate to possess or acquire an airgun.

Back in November 2014, Scottish Police Federation General Secretary Calum Steele pointed out some of the problems with increasing the restrictions on airguns. Steele stated that the legislation was “not something that can be glibly dismissed as having little impact on the police service,” going on to note, “Adding the burden of having to deal with potentially up to 500,000 air weapons... is something that needs to be properly understood.” Steele went on to explain that otherwise well-meaning individuals were likely to be ensnared by the new rules, remarking, “I suspect that there are many people - possibly tens of thousands of individuals - out there who may well find themselves falling foul of the criminal justice system because of licensing offences, something that has never featured before.”

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation reiterated some of Steele’s concerns last week, telling the BBC, “The six months 'lead in' period (before a certificate becomes a legal requirement) is shorter than we had anticipated and may present a challenge to Police Scotland staff, who will administer the new regime.”

In a release justifying the new legislation as a means of combatting “anti-social behavior,” the government also announced a corresponding airgun turn-in program. Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams stated that police “will launch an air weapons surrender campaign later this year.”

The Scottish government has been encouraging subjects to surrender their airguns for over a decade. In 2005, Scotland ran a campaign telling residents “If You Don’t Need It, Get Shot of It.” Intimidating pamphlets apprised Scots of the already severe restrictions on airguns, and told them, “If you don’t need an airgun, then give your neighbours a helping hand. Hand it in to the police.”

Unfortunately, Scotland isn’t the only part of the Anglosphere that has adopted absurd airgun restrictions. In Australia, air rifles are typically placed in the same licensing category as certain shotguns and rimfire rifles, and require a Category A firearms license to possess. The process to own even Category A firearms is intrusive, including an onerous application process.

The folly of the Australian scheme was brought into stark relief in early February, when the Townsville Crocodiles of Australia’s National Basketball league were informed by the Queensland Police Service that their compressed-air-powered t-shirt cannon was in fact a Category B weapon, akin to a centerfire rifle. The harmless device had been used by Townsville mascot The Croc to fire t-shirts into the crowd during breaks in the game.

Following confiscation of the device, Townsville General Manager Rob Honan told a reporter, “The ballistics unit informed the venue that essentially it was a category B weapon and it needed to be handed in, otherwise people in possession of it would be prosecuted.” Honan went on to add, “"I think you would be clutching at straws to think you could hurt someone… I think you would not get enough buildup of gas, it's just a PVC pipe, so it is not like a gun as such. This is really just a mechanism to get giveaways to the back of the crowd."

Praise for England is rare for this journal, however, the remainder of the United Kingdom should be mildly saluted for, as of yet, not enacting a Scottish-type airgun regime throughout the country. For Americans, Scotland and Australia’s foolish airgun schemes should stand as another reminder of the anti-gun advocates’ insatiable impulse for control.

IN THIS ARTICLE
United Kingdom Air Guns
TRENDING NOW
California Using Tax Dollars to Racially Profile Gun Owners

News  

Monday, August 15, 2022

California Using Tax Dollars to Racially Profile Gun Owners

California gun owners have been under siege for the past year - even by the not-so-Golden State’s standards. In September 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom (D) signed AB-173, which allows for the disclosure of highly sensitive ...

Canada’s Liberals Bypass Parliament to Further Gun Control Agenda

News  

Monday, August 15, 2022

Canada’s Liberals Bypass Parliament to Further Gun Control Agenda

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government introduced Bill C-21, proposing a permanent freeze on the sale, transfer and import of handguns in Canada. The bill remains at the initial stages and did not pass prior to ...

California: Appropriations Committees Pass Anti-Gun Bills to Floor

Friday, August 12, 2022

California: Appropriations Committees Pass Anti-Gun Bills to Floor

Yesterday, the Appropriations Committees of both chambers considered bills previously placed on the suspense file. SB 505, which would have required gun owners to carry insurance and held them strictly civilly liable, was held in committee, while the ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Supreme Court Signals It May Rein In Federal Rulemakers

News  

Monday, August 8, 2022

Supreme Court Signals It May Rein In Federal Rulemakers

While most of the attention from the end of the United States Supreme Court’s last term focused on several landmark cases, including a major win for gun owners in the NRA-supported case New York State Rifle ...

Oregon: Faulty Gun Control Ballot Measure Summary Approved

Friday, August 12, 2022

Oregon: Faulty Gun Control Ballot Measure Summary Approved

This week, the Explanatory Statement Committee approved Ballot Measure 114’s (formerly IP 17) summary that will appear in the voter pamphlet.

Another Good Guy with a Gun Stops the Bad Guy

News  

Monday, July 25, 2022

Another Good Guy with a Gun Stops the Bad Guy

On July 19, 22-year-old Elisjsha Dicken was shopping with his girlfriend at the Greenwood Park Mall in Greenwood, Ind. when a gunman armed with a rifle opened fire in the food court. Upon witnessing the ...

When Seconds Count, the Police are Only Hours Away

News  

Monday, August 8, 2022

When Seconds Count, the Police are Only Hours Away

After violent unrest and looting in 2020 that Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot admitted had “spread like wildfire” throughout parts of Chicago, the mayor nonetheless “urged Chicagoans not to take matters into their own hands in this concealed ...

Illinois: Naperville Considering Banning Many Firearm & Magazine Sales

Monday, July 18, 2022

Illinois: Naperville Considering Banning Many Firearm & Magazine Sales

Tomorrow, at 7:00 P.M., the Naperville City Council will consider File 22-0848, to ban commercial sales of many commonly-owned firearms and standard capacity magazines. NRA Members and Second Amendment supporters are invited to ask the Council ...

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

News  

Friday, April 1, 2022

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

Half the country will now enjoy the freedom to carry a handgun for self-defense without a permit from the state thanks to the tireless efforts of men and women of the National Rifle Association. 

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.