Scottish Countryside Alliance

 
The latest
News brief
 

Follow the Countryside Alliance:

Licensing of low-powered air weapons unnecessary, says Alliance

The Scottish Countryside Alliance (SCA) is asking Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill MSP to reconsider his stance on the licensing of low powered air weapons in Scotland.

 

The Scottish Countryside Alliance (SCA) is asking Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill MSP to reconsider his stance on the licensing of low powered air weapons in Scotland.

Serious doubts have been cast over planned new controls of air weapons after Scotland's most senior frontline police officers warned licensing would be unwieldy and too expensive.

The Association of Scottish Police Superintendents (ASPS) has now asked the Scottish Government to reconsider its plan to license all air guns north of the border, partly because there are so many in Scotland that the additional cost and burden on police would be considerable at a time of shrinking budgets. 

The Scottish Government launched a public consultation on its plans to introduce a licensing system for weapons on 14 December 2012. The SCA, like many other organisations, submitted a robust response rejecting the need for such draconian measures.

The SCA opposed the consultation proposals and urged all shooters to show solidarity with Scottish air gunners by signing an on-line petition, supporting a Facebook campaign and responding to the consultation. The consultation closed on the 15 March 2013 with analysis of the responses received published on 19 July.

It came as no great surprise that 87% of respondents rejected the proposal; we were however surprised by the Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill’s reaction.

The Scottish Government claimed the responses were not representative of the wider population, as almost three-fifths had come from England, and around a fifth from cut-out coupons in shooting magazines.

Mr MacAskill insisted it is "simply not right" for airguns to be held without licence.

Scottish Countryside Alliance director Jamie Stewart said: “It is clear that Police Scotland cannot deliver the licensing system the Justice Secretary seeks and that they agree with our stand point. We believe that in the vast majority of those who hold and use air weapons as part of an organised pest control exercise or shoot recreationally pose no threat to the wider public and do not require the draconian measures set down by the Justice Secretary.”

< Back