Scottish Countryside Alliance

The latest
News brief

Follow the Countryside Alliance:

Campaign raises awareness of air weapons licensing scheme

The Scottish Government has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the new air weapons legislation that aims to improve public safety and reduce gun crime in Scotland.  Anybody who wants to use or own an air weapon will be able to apply to Police Scotland for an air weapon certificate, or a permit in some circumstances, from 1 July 2016. This gives users six months to get a certificate before new rules tightening access to air weapons, introduced in the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015, come into  effect from 31 December 2016.



From that date it will be an offence to have an air weapon without the proper certificate or permit, unless a person is exempt from the need for a licence.


Scottish Countryside Alliance Director Jamie Stewart said:  Despite an overwhelming opposition to this needless legislation the Scottish Government are moving forward with their draconian policy of licensing Air Weapons. Reluctantly but responsibly we agreed to forward the relevant information within this campaign which sets out to make people who own or use an air weapon aware that from 1 July 2016 you can apply for an air weapon certificate by downloading an application form from and sending it to Police Scotland. 



Ironically, much has been made of the small amount of air weapons handed in under amnesty. The term of course refers to a pardon extended by the government to a group or class of persons linked to a criminal activity. I can guarantee that none of the air weapons handed in were from by the criminal fraternity…





Fees, forms and other details of how airgun licensing will operate.

Whole document:

Link to fees section:

Fee notes:
- Main AWC (air weapon certificate) fee is £72 for 5-year certificate
- Shorter certificates may be issued to smooth out peak flow demand. This will be on a pro-rata cost basis.
- Applicants under 18 will have lower certificate fees relative to the number of years under 18, at which point they will have to apply for a full AWC i.e. someone 17 years old pays less than someone 15 years old.
- Applicants who have FAC or SGC can apply for an AWC that expires at the same time as their other certificate(s).
- The AWC fee for FAC and SGC holders will be £5.
- The visitor permit cost is £20 for an individual and £100 for 5 to 20 persons - this is ludicrous and will harm airgun sports tourism, including matches and competitions.

The document outlines:
- About air weapon certificates
- Photograph requirements
- Police permits
- Visitor permits
- Variations
- Event permits
- Approval of air weapon clubs
- Mandatory conditions
- Replacement certificates, permits and approvals
- Fees
- Duration of air weapon certificates
- Application forms:
AWL1 Application for the grant or renewal of an air weapon certificate
AWL1a Air weapon certificate (what it will look like)
AWL2 Application for the grant of a police permit
AWL2a Police permit
AWL3 Application for the grant of a visitor permit
AWL3a Visitor permit
AWL4 Application for the variation of an air weapon certificate, a police permit or a visitor permit
AWL5 Application for the grant of an event permit
AWL5a Event permit
AWL6 Application for the grant or renewal of an approval of an air weapon club
AWL6a Approval of an air weapon club
AWL7 Application for the variation of an approved air weapon club’s approval

Other points:-
- The full Act comes into force on 1 January 2017.
- Applications for AWCs will start from 1 July this year, though AWCs will not take effect until 1 January 2017.
- Existing SGC or FAC holders are covered to possess and use (not buy) airguns until their next renewal.
- Airgunners who are not FAC/SGC holders have until 1 November this year to apply for an AWC*

[* It is not an offence for a person on or after 31st December 2016 to possess (but not to use, purchase or acquire) an air weapon without holding an air weapon certificate if the person has, before 1st November 2016, made an application for the grant of an air weapon certificate and the application has not yet been determined. This does not apply to FAC/SGC holders who are automatically covered to possess and use airguns until their next renewal date.]

Members should make themselves aware of the new law. Feel free to contact Scottish Director Jamie Stewart with any further questions. [email protected]



< Back