The Scottish Government is consulting on plans to create a new licencing regime for air weapons. It is estimated that there could be as many as half a million unlicensed air guns in Scotland.
The proposals will affect anyone who currently owns an air weapon and wants to continue to do so, those buying new air weapons, or those who wish to bring an air weapon into Scotland, for example to competitions or on holiday.
Prior to the new laws coming into effect, there will be an amnesty period where people can hand in unwanted guns to the police.
The consultation will seek views on how to make the new licensing regime workable, proportionate and how to help the police tackle inappropriate ownership and use of air-weapons.
“We have a longstanding commitment to crack down on the misuse of guns and a licensing scheme for air guns will help address the problems that these weapons can cause to individuals and communities in the wrong hands,” said Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill. “We are not consulting on the principle of licensing – this will happen. While our primary concern is for public safety, we do not wish to penalise those who use air weapons responsibly and who can demonstrate a legitimate use for a gun, such as sport shooting or pest control.”