24 May 2013
On 24th May a petition opposing airgun licensing proposals was lodged with the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee. It is likely that the committee will consider the petition at one of its meetings in June.
This move is part of a wider campaign against the proposals.
These proposals could go ahead if we don’t all do something about it. That includes a ban on people plinking in their own gardens and English and Welsh shooters having to apply for visitor permits before taking their airguns to Scotland.
BASC urges everyone that shoots to work together against the proposals as follows.
The above link will take you to a petition against the Scottish airgun licensing proposals. The petition has been set up by Scottish shooter Dave Ewing and already exceeds 14,000 signatures.
The above link will take you to the 'Write to Them' website. By submitting your postcode you can then send a message to your councillors, your member of parliament and your members of the European Parliament. If you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you will also be able to send a message to members of your national parliament or assembly. If you live in Scotland it is especially important that you send a message to your elected representatives in the Scottish Parliament. Your message could be the same text you have used to respond to the recent public consultation. You could also request a meeting to discuss your concerns. Keep chasing all your elected representatives until they respond.
A Facebook page has also been set up by Scottish shooter Dave Ewing. The page has daily updates and discussions on the proposals, feedback from communications with MSPs and MPs, and other topics. To date over 1,200 people have liked the page. Help raise awareness of the proposals by liking the page and sharing it with your friends.
On 24th May a petition opposing airgun licensing proposals containing 14,193 signatures was lodged with the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee. It is likely that the committee will consider the petition at one of its meetings in June.
On 8th May the Regulatory Review Group in Scotland met to discuss BASC’s concerns about the disproportionate nature of proposals to license all low powered airguns. BASC raised its objection to the proposals with the review group in April. An update will be provided once the minutes of the meeting are published.
The Scottish Government wants to license all low-powered airguns in Scotland and to ban people plinking in their own gardens. They even want English and Welsh shooters to apply for visitor permits before they take airguns to Scotland. A public consultation on the proposals closed on 15th March. During the consultation BASC encouraged shooters across the UK to respond and a campaign against airgun licensing in Scotland is ongoing. BASC first published its draft response to the consultation in January. BASC's response to the consultation was submitted on 15th March 2013.
On 3rd May the Scottish Government received 1,136 responses to its consultation on the proposals, with the majority being opposed.
If you have any comments on the proposals we would be interested to hear from you. Share your views by filling in the comment box below. We will only show your first name when publishing comments.
Displaying 63 of 63 comments
Airgun licensing for low-powered airguns? This is a tricky one because these days,there seems to be alot of chavs across the country of all races,etc whom cause problems with low-powered airguns,so in order to enforce the Firearm Act 1968 further,with the same conditions,background checks,as a smoothbore-gun,-a licensing system could work,as it would limit a future generation of chavs,from getting hold of more airguns.Some previous commenters onhere have spoken about their opposition & outrage towards the licensing of airguns,but as far as I'm concerned,these things are too often misused & this is how the antis attack us & some antis are powerful organisations,such as The League Against Cruel Sports & some members of The RSPCA.I hate reading about dogs getting shot by crossbows,pellet & bb guns & so I think personally it needs to be tightened up.Plinking in a garden is good fun,but really guns should only be used at clubs or on private secluded land,like farms,etc.People go on about the future of the sport etc,etc,well look at countries like Japan & Australia,where all airguns are licensed,regardless of power-levels & they have Olympic competitors.We will still have Olympic stars,because there will be kids who will follow their passion.If a child shows a genuine interest in something,then that child will shoot,because that child wants to do it.By the way I am very much pro-shooting & against all anti-gun groups.
Posted by David at 26 March 2013 08:10AM
I wish it to be known that I am totaly opposed to the proposal for the licensing of airguns in scotland
Posted by David at 12 March 2013 05:06PM
To me, this proposal is more about raising money than creating 'safer communities'. The 'justice/injustice secretary', has already stated his intention to greatly increase the section 1 and 2 firearm fees. The SNP should admit they ARE anti shooting and gun owners must remember this when voting.
Posted by James at 10 March 2013 09:20PM
Very sorry to read of this. More legislation to address a virtually non existent problem.
Sadly politicians all to often feel that they need to do this to prove to their electorate that they are "doing something".
I live in England and am unlikely to be affected by this, however the danger for us south of the border is that it sets a precident for a future English and Welsh government that includes politicians who believe that an interest in guns per se is unhealthy, to introduce similar legislation for the whole of the UK.
I am both a shotgun and FAC holder. I have introduced many young people to target shooting through the Scouts and have seen the very positive benefits that the concentration and discipline involved provides.
Posted by Tom at 10 March 2013 11:46AM
I live in the US. It appears that the worlds do gooders are uniformly distributed. Those who know whats best for us must rise ans save us from ourselves. My condolences to Scotland.
Posted by Tom at 8 March 2013 02:16AM
It is a sad day that we the public find ourselves in the position of being dictated to by the fools we elected to office. The proposed licencing of air rifles, has come about by a typical knee jerk reaction by these same elected egos (due to one drug fuelled idiot, whom by the way does not account for the many law abiding air rifle owning upright citizens.). Is this the first step by our elected rabble to punish mostly law abiding people with an enjoyable pastime/sport? Remember we are VOTERS, we will still be here when the now elected rabble have faded into the obscurity awaiting them.
Posted by Matthew at 5 March 2013 07:15PM
There is no requirement for airguns to be licensed in Scotland & in doing so the Government is imposing its will on a multitude of law abiding citizens (and voters!). The vast majority of airgun owners in the UK nevermind, Scotland are responsible adults who use their airguns responsibly for recreation ("plinking"), hunting, pest control etc.
This is a complete knee jerk reaction in response to an isolated incident in a deprived housing estate in inner city Glasgow. Many individuals like myself have enjoyed owning an airgun for many years with no issue whatsoever, I myself have been an airgun owner for 26 years & never in that time have I ever caused any problem to the community at large, in fact living in a rural location I have on many occasions provided a valuable service in terms of pest control.
To deprive me of owning an airgun or imposing unrealistic restrictions is infringing on my human rights to enjoy my hobby and I will take it to the European Court of Human Rights as will countless other airgunners.
I think the attitude of Mr McAskill is particularly repungent on this issue - he says "there will be no debate, airguns are getting licensed, the consultation is purely to discuss how this will go ahead" - I believe this is known as dictatorship, the last time one of those surfaced in Europe it didn't turn out well! If the Scottish Government actually believe that they are now going to secure the vote of Scotland's shooters for their independence campaign then they are sorely mistaken & can think again.
Finally, I'd just like to make the point that over the last few month's 11 people have died hill walking in the Cairngorms, I've no idea how many have been injured on our roads or perhaps fell off their bike while mountain biking - I would like to know, & I'm being very serious here - why is hill walking not being banned or licensed? - it is clearly much more dangerous than airgun shooting!
This is yet another case of pandering to a few loudmouth minorities.
Posted by Brian at 3 March 2013 05:32PM
The Scottish Government requires a Respondent Information Form to be completed and sent in with any response submitted.
Early on in the consultation BASC was alerted by members that were unable to fill in that form electronically as they didn’t have the right software.
BASC approached the Scottish Government about this problem and it was confirmed that responses using our template text would be accepted in place of their respondent information form.
See section 1 in the briefing above – where people can copy and paste the text and email the information together with their views on the consultation.
The next issue of BASC’s magazine, which will arrive with members around 1 March, will contain the same text in a form that people can cut out of the magazine and post as their consultation response.
Similar forms are available in the current issues of Sporting Shooter (March page 90) and Airgun Shooter (April page 92)
Posted by Conor O'Gorman - BASC at 25 February 2013 01:35PM
I did not have the correct programme to fill in the required form. I told Margaret Burgess SNP, MSP and she organised a hard copy to be sent as well as a Word version. I chose the hard copy and sent it with a cover letter. There will be many people unable to fill in the digital or electronic reply for the same reason. So ask for a hard copy and do your best with filling it in . That,s the only way to defeat this redundant, costly and time wasting proposal.
Posted by Roddy at 25 February 2013 12:58PM
This whole exercise if nothing more than prejudice against all forms of shooting, and an attempt to subvert and ban it. If we are not careful this stupidity will spread like cancer to the rest of the UK. It has nothing whatsoever to do with either crime reduction nor public safety. This is the nanny state at its worst.
Here in England, the toughest firearms laws did NOT stop Dale Cregan (sept 2012) from killing 2 police officers with a handgun and hand grenade of all things in Manchester. Only law abiding people suffer as always, and the Scottish Govt just does not like shooters nor shooting - Blind Prejudice and nothing else.
Posted by Trev at 23 February 2013 11:29PM
hand guns !....speed bumps !....bird flu !....swine flu !....road fund tax !....ever spiralling fuel costs !....fortnightly waste collections !........all that one has got left to do is shoot his air rifle, in the back yard at targets !.......and now the powers that be, want to "tax" this ....great Britain not !!!
Posted by Dave at 23 February 2013 08:19PM
Our communities are faced with lots of serious issues including alcohol & drug abuse, violent crime, and rape to name a few and our local police forces are often overwhelmed and can't cope. The last thing we need is to create more red tape, punishing the many safe and law abiding air gun owners in the process to address a falling number of crimes, which in comparison are insignificant.
Posted by Erika at 21 February 2013 04:24PM
Firstly, the practicalities - how on earth are all those airguns going to be identified and brought in to a licensing system? The man hours needed for the task and therefore expense, is truly mind boggling. And for what in the end? It doesn't address the root of the problem, which is a lack of education and good example for those who what to shoot, of any age. We need to be taught to use guns properly and to respect them, be they plastic toys, full-bore rifles or anything between.
Secondly, the current law, if applied properly, is perfectly able to deal with those who do not wish to obey the rules and there will always be a minority of those. A licencing system would be unlikely to hinder them very much, as we have seen with the hand-gun ban.
Lastly, the fact that there has been an effort in the last few years by shooting organisations to extend education programmes, the police enforcing current law and there being a 71% reduction in reported incidents - a remarkable correlation - would appear to bear this out.
Posted by Ronald at 20 February 2013 12:16PM
Since Scotland airgun ownership has fallen 71% in 5 years why do they now propose to be so restrictive?
Posted by Len at 19 February 2013 10:38PM
the law on airguns is strict enough now and well controlled by the gun laws we have now.
The law scotland would like to bring in have no need of them at the moment.Is the just the tip of the iceberg.
Posted by G.J. at 19 February 2013 05:10PM
I am astounded at this. Truly. Another attack on the law abiding when all the evidence points to the contrary. Even if was a cracking idea, and it certainly isn't (I won't repeat all of the arguments here), it will just introduce dis-continuity in the UK. How do they think it would be policed? Check points on the border crossings?
Not being a politician, rather an observer, I think I can safely say that this is all about jobs for the boys in line with all the other replicated "positions" in Scotland which coud be handled by one UK body, beit English,Welsh,Irish,Scottish.
Utter nonsense, utter waste of time, utter waste of money. Thank heaven for bodies like BASC who have the membership and momentum to oppose these proposals and dissassemble the potty ideas with sound arguement.
Perhaps if the BASC had access to the government Nanny's before these proposals even saw the light of day it would save a fortune.
Lets support and protect the Scots trying to fend off another wave of madness from within and before we all have our rights diminished further. Another iceberg tip in the making.
Posted by David at 19 February 2013 05:03PM
My response to the consultation is as follows.
I object virulently to this consultation on the basis that it would restrict the enjoyment of Airgun enthusiasts while not providing any further safeguards or protection to the individual, public or state. the current safeguards are sufficient and offer the correct level of duty of care without restricting access to the hobby.
To restrict the freedom to use an Airgun in your own back garden is tantamount to restrictive covenant on ones own property by the state.
I urge you to reconsider this proposal and allow the continued, and historic hobby of Airgun ownership and back garden enjoyment without any restrictions over and above regulations that are in place already.
Posted by Metin at 19 February 2013 04:34PM
I do think to introduce a air gun licence would help to eliminate the younger foolish air gunner so I do agree and would support a licence along with an age restriction
Posted by Ian at 19 February 2013 01:53PM
I understand it is the correct legal terminology but I feel that using the word weapon can have an affect on how people perceive airguns as the word suggests violence or use for assault.
It would be much better to say airguns as I think it would come across much less threatening to Joe Public who may not have the knowledge of gun enthusiasts and be easily led astray.
Posted by Dave at 12 February 2013 05:18PM
Here we go again! A nutter high on drugs calls 999 and shoots at the fire engine with an air gun and kills a small child,so air guns must be blamed.A drunk driver kills someone with his car so the driver is to blame, this looks like discrimination against the easy option,we shooters.
One MSP famously said after the Hand Gun ban ---"The streets are now safe" ARE THEY? It is just another crafty vote catching exercise. There is enough law in place already provided it is enforced.
Posted by Henry at 10 February 2013 04:56PM
I do not agree to a licence for airguns as it would cause problems. for the young shots who want to learn about gun and conservation rules and to be safe with firearms .
Posted by Gary at 9 February 2013 08:33PM
I'm just an American observer who knew this slippery slope was bound to happen sooner or later in the United Nanny State Kingdoms.
These sorts of laws in the UK help to reinforce the support for the US' NRA and staunch anti-gun control stance.
Posted by Nathan at 8 February 2013 11:05PM
I would just like to take this opportunity to thank BASC for drafting what can only be considered an excellent response to the proposals issued by the Scottish Government.
In the comment below, Henry points-out that many members may be discouraged from responding due to the very nature of the questions and how they have been presented.
I must admit this bothered me as well. However, in the Key Issues section there is a sub-heading entitled "How to Respond" (29th
January) where BASC have stated that, "You do not have to answer all the consultation questions. Your response can be as short or as long as you wish but BASC advises that people start their response by objecting in principle to the licensing of airguns in Scotland".
I decided to follow this advice, briefly summarising my main reasons for opposing this legislation as well as commenting on some of the
questions, but leaving the in-depth technical and legal aspects in the capable hands of BASC.
Bearing in mind the seriousness of this matter, I hope as many members as possible will set aside a few minutes of their time to read through
the response and then, hopefully, invest a further few minutes in writing to the Scottish Government - using the template provided - thereby making sure their objection is duly noted.
As a fellow BASC member wrote to me not long ago, the main reason he joined was "to keep shooting accessible for everyone" - my sentiments
Posted by Adrian at 6 February 2013 12:40PM
Wow - what an effort to respond to this. Certainly more than 5 minutes and I can't see many members going through the whole process. It is particularly difficult to respond to all those questions starting "Do you agree ......." if you have not read the detailed proposals in full. Is it a deliberate ploy???
Posted by Henry at 29 January 2013 10:04PM
My response to the consultation is as follows placing an emphasis on potential loss of income to the Scotland.
I fully oppose the proposals for the licensing of air weapons in Scotland. I started shooting with airguns and still do so to this day as well as with shotgun and rifle. I practice (plink) in my garden most evenings for a short time and have never had a single problem; even my neighbour, a serving police officer, is interested in my shooting and has no concerns. Anyone causing a problem with an air weapon is already breaking existing laws so the emphasis should be on enforcing these. Security is already being addressed by the requirement to make any airguns inaccessible to children.
I visit Scotland mainly for climbing and winter mountaineering but also do some game shooting and have recently become interested in deer stalking. For a country whose rural economy relies to a great extent on shooting and fishing as an income generator, to bring in a law that will increase the pressure on country sport participation and shooting in particular seems counter productive. This appears to be mainly a media driven agenda based on perception and not on the fact that airgun crimes have been steadily dropping over recent years.
Also, for those living close to the border this will cause problems if their shooting areas lay across both countries.
I have discussed this issue with friends who shoot and there are many who have stated that if Scotland goes down this route they will be looking to base more shooting trips to the European mainland as the cost is approximately the same and they feel that this will make the disgust felt by Welsh shooters apparent. Given the success of the UK's shooters in the recent Olympics and Paralympics we feel that our sport is being sold out and have no wish to subsidise any country going down this route.
Posted by Peter at 29 January 2013 09:45PM
i am against all forms of licencing and i reject all of their proposals to add further restrictions.
Posted by Alan at 29 January 2013 08:07PM
It's bad enough that there is draconian airgun laws in another part of the UK, but it's not needed in any part of the UK, it only affects the law-abiding folk. Typical of the polititians, if they would concentrate on running the country properly and stopping the EU from their stupid laws and as far as I can see, corruption!
Posted by David at 29 January 2013 06:00PM
I feel that the only way that the licensing of air guns is really going to work and protect the sport,is to follow exactly the laws already in place for use and ownership of air guns. for example the current law states that anyone with a criminal conviction with a sentence over 3mnths will not be able to use or own a air gun for 5yrs. most neds and undesirables fall into this catagory. also plinking should be able to continue same as current law i would love to see the stats for issues regarding people put in distress or having to call the police because there neighbour was shooting targets in their garden.
Posted by Andrew at 21 January 2013 05:23PM
If this legislation goes through then the Antis will have a field day with it and who knows where this will end if anti get the hold of it then they are like a rabid dog with a bone and they will not let go and it will end up like here FAC for an air rifle totally ridiculous although the circumstances here are different but the principle is the same (get them away from the free and end up paying through the nose in more ways than one)
Posted by Freddie at 17 January 2013 06:04PM
I think the police have have enough to to do dealing with firearms and shotguns without adding legal air rifles.
Posted by Craig at 15 January 2013 09:01PM
Further to my previous comment regarding airgun licensing in Scotland I have to say, that personally I think it would be more constructive to direct the campaign in a slightly more tactical way. We need the opposition to show their hand and if the opposition get their way, we need to secure the rights of present and future air gunners. My reasoning is as follows;
Many everyday things we use are subject to a licensing scheme of some sort, i.e. Cars, Motorbikes, TV's and even Radios. Therefore a licensing scheme in itself is not necessarily restrictive providing that the fee is not unreasonable. My fear is that the proposed scheme is simply the thin end of the wedge in a plan to hammer air gunners into the ground in order to create a political smoke screen designed to make the public think it is winning the war on illegal gun crime, when in-fact it is not and has consistently failed to remove real illegal firearms from our streets year on year, which given that we are an island, is unforgivable!
Therefore my proposition would be to say O.K. We support the licensing of air weapons provided that and only that, a mechanism is put in place and set in stone to guarantee without question, that the existing rights of air gunners now and from here on, is upheld.
Of course they will not agree, because their real goal is not simply to license airguns. And if they did agree, then "Bingo"! We have successfully guaranteed the future of air gunning for the mere inconvenience of a license.
Given that the licensing issue is unlikely to go away, it strikes me that it could be time to turn adversity into opportunity.
Posted by Pascha at 14 January 2013 06:09PM
The move to stop people from 'plinking' in their back garden is wholly unacceptable. The comment in the Scottish consultation paper 2012, "The sight of guns in residential areas is no longer acceptable", underlines that the proposed licensing has little to do with public safety and more to do with public perception. Furthermore is demonstrates that once an arguably 'reasonable' licensing system is introduced, that this will then be used as a platform to enforce more unreasonable restrictions on the back of it. And thus there are grounds for opposing all legislation, however reasonably it may first appear to be.
Posted by Pascha at 14 January 2013 12:17AM
Let's see here... half a million airgun shooters at, say, a fiver a throw for a licence... that's two and a half million quid... can anyone see a motive developing here? Create jobs for more people to sit at desks bending paperclips..... Ah well, that's politics.
Posted by Steve at 9 January 2013 05:50PM
Yet more proposed legislation that will accomplish nothing but causing legitimate airgun users to jump through hoops.
Posted by Garry at 9 January 2013 10:00AM
Why, why why??? Completely crazy. What are they aiming to stop??
Posted by Dave at 8 January 2013 06:09PM
Instead of wasting valuable Police time in licensing low powered air guns I think that instead more effort should be used to reduce illegal high powered firearms.
How long is it since hand guns were made illegal? How many crimes are commited every year with illegal hand guns?
Posted by John at 8 January 2013 06:04PM
If you can only use an air gun at a range or where you have the same permissions as attached to a shotgun then use is effectively restricted to those rich enough to have a very large garden.
Many people in urban areas are able to use air guns safely in their garden and would be unfairly discriminated against.
There are no ranges in Scotland where a member of the public would be able to turn up with an air gun and participate. Even if such ranges were to be created access would be again restricted to the more wealthy strata of society due to the costs of getting their (unless they plan to ease restrictions on travelling with firearms on public transport).
The statement "The sight of guns in residential areas is no longer acceptable." is indeed very worrying and only contributes to the ill-informed hysteria surrounding firearms in general. Flying to London and walking about central London exposes members of the public to regular displays of Section 5 firearms without any great consternation.
Posted by Brian at 8 January 2013 11:40AM
I have had Airguns all my life, and have never harmed anyone and progressed to use Rifles & shotguns.
I feel Airguns should always have been recorded sales, and it may be to late to enforce due to the number out there. Starting now is very late in the day, is it worth the effort to try? Look at the state America is in with no gun control!!!!
Posted by Craig at 8 January 2013 11:32AM
Words fail me !!! I could fill this space and more with reasonable, Factual and irrefutible argument as to why this is such a waste of time....But SNP are out to win votes and are appealing to the populus that dont have anything to do with guns of any description, in the hope that there may be more of them voting than there are Gun users/traders etc.
What a sad,oily and desperate bunch they must be.
OOOOpps... forgot,they are MP's after votes and as such will try anything!!! In my book its typical vote gathering tactics by people who KNOW all the facts and arguments but choose to ignore them because it suits them to.
Posted by Ian at 8 January 2013 05:44AM
There is absolutely no justification for this legislation.
Much more focus should be put on dealing (severely) with real crime rather than attempting to criminalise legitimate activities.
Posted by Ian at 7 January 2013 10:21PM
totally & utterly ridiculous waste of time & money, for something that will never work.
Posted by John at 7 January 2013 09:43PM
I wonder how many of the UK Olympic shooting squad started out in the garden with an old springer? I wonder how few would be able to learn how to safely handle a firearm in the relatively secure setting of a parent or grandparent showing how to shoot a few cans?
Posted by James at 7 January 2013 06:02PM
I have to agree with many of the comments already posted (e.g. 'deluded') as there really is no way to licence criminal activity - criminals are already criminals so additional licensing or registration isn't going to change anything. Across the western world, statistical evidence shows that the best way to reduce violent crime to have increased numbers of legally held firearms along with the right to use them.
Posted by Chris at 7 January 2013 04:55PM
Being you have to be 17 to drive a car which in the wrong hands can easily be classed as a weapon, I'm in favour of licensing all "firearms" weather it be an airgun or a rim fire it is a firearms and should be treated as one.
Posted by Daniel at 7 January 2013 04:29PM
Why not try and actually police the existing laws instead of making new laws that are even more difficult to police? Another knee jerk reaction by the media/government.
Posted by RF at 7 January 2013 02:38PM
This bright idea has nothing to do with the safety of weapons but of pure political vote catching from amongst the ignorant. No amount of legislation will ever stop deliberate misuse of any tools be it a woodworking chisel, a carving knife or the accelerator pedal of a car, and any weapon is merely a tool designed for a particular purpose. As with any tool, accidents can happen but these are the end results of lack of training, ignoring safety procedures or not applying common sense. It is not the tool's fault.
An air rifle can be used for sport target shooting (up to Olympics level) and for vermin control when larger weapons or the use of poisons are inappropriate, but in either event must be preceded by a degree of instruction and practice. Prohibiting ownership cannot make a weapon any safer and in my neck of the woods to do so would allow Weil's disease to be spread by rats and song birds' nests to be wiped out by grey squirrels. Unless of course we cover the countryside in poisons.
There is already sufficient legislation to counter the misuse of weapons; it is more a matter of actually applying those laws with meaningful punishments rather than prohibiting a tool which is often an essential requirement in many people's lives.
Posted by Dirk at 7 January 2013 12:20PM
Apart from proposing a destructive law in these times of having to tighten our belts how can they possible justify the cost of introducing and adminstrating it?
Posted by Brian at 7 January 2013 12:14PM
Paragraph 20 of the Consultation already makes the whole exercise unnecessary. Under normal use, air weapons are unlikely to prove lethal or to pose any significant threat. Air weapons' misuse is already illegal under existing legislation.
So, political prejudice aside, it is difficult to see what the Scottish Government hopes to achieve by placing this very burdensome load on already over-stretched Police services, or additional fees on law-abiding citizens.
Mechanisms exist in terms of "prohibition orders" to provide for action against those found unsuitable for particular activities. The most common is probably the driving ban. A similar approach - providing for such a prohibition order against the purchase or ownership of an air weapon would seem to offer a very much more efficient and pragmatic way to achieve the only substantive part of the Consultation, which is ultimately a means to support some form of revocation.
Posted by Damian at 7 January 2013 12:01PM
Licencing air wepons will be an enormously complex and costly exercise which will stretch the resources of the police which should more usefuly deployed tackling real crime. Once again, thousands of law abiding citizens will be inconvenienced and put to considerable expense for no real benefit in reducing gun crime. The vast majority of airgun users cause no threat to the community and there are already laws which sensibly control when, where, and how an air gun should be purchased stored and used. Police resources should be used to bring to justice those who break these laws and the punishments should be used as a deterrent rather than punishing the whole shooting community for the potential sins of a very small number of people.
Posted by Allan at 7 January 2013 10:27AM
Canada tried to introduce registration of rifles and shotguns. After several years of trying to get owners to comply - the Canadian Govt had to give up its plans for registration. This cost vast amounts of money and achieved nothing.
If Scottish air gun owners do the same as Canadian gun owners - massive non compliance - what are the chances of the SNP admitting they've got no hope of getting this to work and give up?
More than likely they'll start house to house searches, for air guns, than admit that that it isn't working!
Posted by John at 28 December 2012 10:22AM
I am not against the proposals and consider them to be long overdue and I say this as a long term user of an b S A meteor which is my weapon of choice when involved in certain tasks it has been one of my guns for over 50 years as boys my friends and I all used them and the youthful enthusiasm lay at the foot of more than a few accidents one of which resulted in a friend loosing the sight of his left eye.
I honestly believe that low power airguns at the hub of a very poor attitude towards gun saftey
Posted by john at 27 December 2012 07:29PM
People have used air guns for informal target practice (aka "plinking") safely, responsibly and above all lawfully for decades. It is how I was introduced to the sport over thirty years ago and I continue to enjoy it to this day.
It has caused me a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction and to think that future generations may not have the opportunity to experience this makes me very sad indeed.
I, like many others, feel these proposals have the potential to cause lasting and irreversible damage to our sport. I therefore hope that all shooters - not just air gunners in Scotland - will take the time to support BASC and contact the Scottish Government to voice their opposition. I certainly will. After all, any legislation passed in Scotland could subsequently be adopted in England and Wales, too.
If for no other reason, the additional workload on the police force would be unimaginable and proper day to day policing - on which we all rely - would be sure to suffer. We already have stringent laws more than capable of dealing with the minority who would use air guns in a criminal fashion - these need to be enforced! After all, people wishing to cause harm will do so anyway... and they certainly won't be applying for a licence! The only people who will suffer if this goes ahead will be the law abiding majority - and that's neither right nor fair.
For a section of the shooting community to have been singled-out in such a fashion is appalling and should be causing alarm bells to ring-out in ranges, clubs and homes throughout the United Kingdom. We have to stick together. I mean, if this goes through... who's next?
Posted by Adrian at 24 December 2012 01:40PM
Responsible airgunners will subconciously carry out a risk assessment prior to plinking in their garden.
If they only have a small garden, they'll know not to use their rifle, but a pistil should be ok, as long as a suitable backstop is in place.
Why should someone in a semi rural or rural location with a suitably sized garden be stopped from setting up a safe range?
Somehow, i fear the licencing may come into force & may well end up making it's way into England & Wales, however, it's only going to be the law abiding amongst us that this will affect.
Posted by Ewan at 22 December 2012 12:23PM
Brilliant lets regulate kitchen knives, hammers, garden axe's, crow bar's, screw driver's, and any other tool being used in the 564 murders last year.
Oh wait, lets not charge the 36,000 drunken thugs on a Friday and Saturday night who end up in A&E and the 42,000 drink related crimes in Scotland last year.
This world is going bonkers!
Posted by Craig at 20 December 2012 12:25PM
For the safety of our sport and the general public ALL air rifles MUST be licensed.And the sooner the better.
Any undesirable anywhere can purchase and use an air rifle to shoot at whatever they like, including cat and us. Do you want to be shot in the eye, and find that the police have no way of tracing the owner.
It would also cut trespass and poaching.
Stop spending members time and money on this and more on protecting members from antis etc.
Posted by Eric at 19 December 2012 11:57AM
Article 1 of Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights states "Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law".
Interpretation indicates "Interference with the right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions shall be allowed only if: it is prescribed by law, it is in the public interest and it is necessary in a democratic society. All three conditions must be fulfilled cumulatively. Should only one of them not be met, there will have been a violation of the Convention". All these required "conditions" can be challenged.
The government has stated that compensation will not be given. The suggested value of airguns is ludicrously low and doesn't consider collector's items or redundant equipment.
Given the estimate of 500,000 airguns, the cost will be unacceptable were they to be required to provide appropriate compensation for such items.
The "Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union" states "Article 17. Everyone has the right to own, use, dispose of and bequeath his or her lawfully acquired possessions. No one may be deprived of his or her possessions, except in the public interest and in the cases and under the conditions provided for by law, subject to fair compensation being paid in good time for their loss. The use of property may be regulated by law in so far as is necessary for the general interest".
This "Charter" requires the government to provide compensation.
The above is merely my opinion, I am not a lawyer, I may be wrong and would respectfully suggest that BASC seeks a legal opinion on this issue.
Posted by Scott at 18 December 2012 10:06PM
As a former lobbyist, I think sadly, there is little chance of airgun licensing not happening. This is a huge bone that Scot Govt have wanted for some time and are unlikely to back down. As with many public consultations, there is usually little chance of stopping a proposal, and the best that can be done is damage limitation.
My one suggestion would that if/when licensing law is passed then an exemption be made for existing FAC & SGC holders. Not only does this alleviate duplication of shooters who have been through the process, but it also frees up the system so that those newly applying will be dealt with quicker and there is not even more burdens on the police.
As for the Justice Secretary, he showed his true colours earlier this year when he said how worrying it was that that number of legal guns held in Scotland had increased. Never mind the fact Glasgow will be hosting the 2014 Commonwealth games including....shooting.
Posted by Neil at 17 December 2012 11:06AM
I am an ex police officer and I find it very unfair that the Scottish Gov, by means of selective propaganda,has again as in the case of handguns ,presented the populace with so called 'problem' relative to airguns. I was over 30 years in the police and only twice ,in all that time , did I come across them and that was on a very minor crime,i.e. Vandalsim . There were just over 2000 relative crimes in 2011 so why this kneejerk reaction- because it makes them look good,that is all and it will solve nothing .I gaurantee that any such ban will only increase the problem and many many people will just keep their airguns and if later discovered by the police they will be sent to prison.The CRIMINALS will be the ones that will abuse this act of facism. I cannot find any justification for this it is absolute politics and nothing less .
Posted by Allan at 15 December 2012 08:07PM
I use an airgun to control rabbits on three seperate estates. I will not be voting SNP in future as it appears to be this party which is mainly behind the recent proposal.
I resent having my vermin control being described in terms of criminality by the suggestion that I'm currently in possesion of a 'weapon'. It is only a weapon in the hands of a person using the airgun for criminal behaviour. This kind of language does nothing more than expose the SNP government of using prejudiced language to further their aims.
The same amount of money used to bring in any new law would be better spent on a television campaign to hand in unused airguns.
SNP look set to lose a large number of votes in the countryside.
Posted by Iain at 15 December 2012 03:12PM
There are no shortcuts in life.
You want do decrease gun crime in scotland?
Educate people what the law is.
Educate people on safe use.
Increase Spending on police to enforce the law.
Tackle drugs and gangs.
Licencing will change nothing, Noone is going to hand in an air weapon if they have illegal intent to use it to intimidated or maim.
Also who decides what is a good reason for an air weapon? Rats in the garden? Targets in the garden? Bloody stupid.
Posted by James at 14 December 2012 07:44PM
Time and time again we are seeing law abiding shooters being targeted. I will be writing to my local MSP and possibly starting a petition to say no to this! I also feel we should be relaxing our firearms laws as they are doing nothing to criminals and if anything tighter firearms laws seem to correspond with INCREASING levels of violent crime!
Posted by Dave at 14 December 2012 01:09PM
How will licencing legitimate airgunners help stop a criminal with an airgun? it will not!
Criminals do not care a jot about licencing do they?!
Posted by David at 11 December 2012 04:32PM
I support your incentive to try and get as many people to reply to the consultation that is being launched by the Scottish Government. I shall be adding my comments when you publich an email link.
Posted by Steven at 11 December 2012 04:30PM