Scottland – -(Ammoland.com)- Since the Scottish Government announced plans two years ago to licence the estimated 500,000 airguns in Scotland, we have been vocal in our opposition.
At the time, we pointed out that the legislation was needless, came against falling airgun crime statistics, would not make the public safer and was not welcomed by the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents, who warned that a licensing system would be unwieldy and expensive.
Now, two years later, as the way is prepared for the Air Weapons Licensing (Scotland) Regulations 2016 to come into force, calls for a reasonable and logical fees system have also fallen on deaf ears.
This week, the Scottish Government published the regulations, due to come into force on 1st July 2016.
Sadly it looks as though owning an airgun will be as complicated and as expensive as owning a shotgun or firearm licence; the price of the Main AWC (air weapon certificate) fee is £72 for five-year certificate (see the fees section here.)
Neither these regulations and the charging of fees to legal airgun holders, nor an ongoing airgun amnesty, which suggests that having an airgun is somehow wrong, will have any effect on those who wish to use them illegally.
We have repeatedly pointed out that new rules for the law abiding will never touch the criminal element at whom any legislation is aimed.
This new layer of bureaucracy will add countless hours of work to already overburdened Scottish Police forces, whilst efforts to catch real criminals are neglected. We hope this serves to warn law makers outside of Scotland: proceeding with legislation against consultation advice or the warnings of experts will only end in failure.
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A Q&A is available at www.airweapon.scot. Those who own or use an airgun must be aware that from 1st July 2016 you can apply for an air weapon certificate by downloading an application form from and sending it to Police Scotland.
Countryside Alliance Ireland has been active since the early 1960s, providing Irish sportsmen and women with high levels of information and advice and representation. Over the years as the political environment has changed we have evolved into a highly effective campaigning organisation. Countryside Alliance Ireland is governed by an elected “Board” made up from members throughout Ireland. The Board sets policy and oversees financial and operational matters. Countryside Alliance Ireland partner groups nominate members of the “Board” also, making it truly representative of country sports interests in Ireland. Visit: www.countrysideallianceireland.org