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
NY AG James Sends Threatening Letter to Ammunition Sellers

News  

Monday, November 21, 2022

NY AG James Sends Threatening Letter to Ammunition Sellers

In a move that surprised absolutely nobody, anti-gun New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) announced last week that she would expand her assault on the Second Amendment by targeting ammunition sellers. AG James claimed, ...

Maryland: Montgomery County Passes Carry Restrictions

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Maryland: Montgomery County Passes Carry Restrictions

Maryland’s most anti-gun county has continued its tantrum, lashing out against lawful carry in the only way it thinks it can. Yesterday, the Montgomery County Council voted unanimously to pass Bill 21-22E, to remove the exemption ...

Emboldened, Opportunistic Biden Continues to Promote Gun Bans

News  

Monday, November 21, 2022

Emboldened, Opportunistic Biden Continues to Promote Gun Bans

Whatever else can be said of Joe Biden as a politician, he has been consistent and unwavering on at least one point: he wants to take your guns. Make no mistake: Left to his own ...

Déjà vu: Biden Taps Operation Chokepoint Veteran to Again Lead FDIC

News  

Monday, November 21, 2022

Déjà vu: Biden Taps Operation Chokepoint Veteran to Again Lead FDIC

Of all the scandals of the anti-gun Obama/Biden administration, Operation Chokepoint was perhaps the most insidious. NRA-ILA covered the story at the time, explaining how federal regulators – including the Department of Justice and the ...

California DOJ Awarded Participation Trophy for Losing Bruen Brief

News  

Monday, November 21, 2022

California DOJ Awarded Participation Trophy for Losing Bruen Brief

Those of earlier generations used to chuckle when small children were presented trophies merely for participating in organized sports. When this practice began, few could have predicted that this effete custom would someday extend to ...

ATF Mass Denial of Suppressor Form 1 Applications

News  

Monday, March 7, 2022

ATF Mass Denial of Suppressor Form 1 Applications

On February 28, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) denied approximately 850 Form 1 applications for prospective makers of suppressors. These denials were apparently made due to a change in ATF policy ...

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. 

Oregon Gun Control Ballot Measure Passes, Barely; Iowans Overwhelmingly Approve RKBA Amendment

News  

Monday, November 14, 2022

Oregon Gun Control Ballot Measure Passes, Barely; Iowans Overwhelmingly Approve RKBA Amendment

Two firearm-related ballot measures – one bad, one good – were voted on in last week’s midterm elections. Both passed.

Recent ATF Action Shows Need for Suppressor Reform

News  

Monday, March 14, 2022

Recent ATF Action Shows Need for Suppressor Reform

As we reported last week, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) denied approximately 850 Form 1 applications for prospective makers of suppressors on February 28. These denials were apparently made due to ...

CPRC: FBI Wrong – Armed Citizens Stopped at Least 34% of “Active Shooter” Attacks

News  

Monday, October 17, 2022

CPRC: FBI Wrong – Armed Citizens Stopped at Least 34% of “Active Shooter” Attacks

Recent polling indicates that an increasing number of Americans view the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with distrust and disfavor. The results of a national survey conducted in August by Rasmussen Reports found that a majority of voters asked ...

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.