The Air weapon and Licensing (Scotland) Bill was recently passed by the Scottish Parliament and new legislation will come into effect on 1st July 2016 requiring owners of Air Weapons to possess a licence.
This legislation will improve public safety by ensuring that only those persons who have a legitimate reason for owning and using an air weapon have access to them and that they are properly licensed.
The Air Weapon and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 will come into effect in two stages;
1 July 2016 (Application Process) – from 1 July 2016 the public will be able to begin the process of submitting their applications for certification
1 January 2017 (Enforcement) – to prevent people being criminalised while certificates are being processed, the Scottish Government incorporated statutory instrument legislation to ensure that no person will commit an offence of possessing an air weapon without the relevant authority or certification for a period of not less than 6 months from 1 July 2016.
As a result, enforcement will not begin until 1 January 2017.
Members of the public who possess and use air weapons can continue to do so legally and take no action at this time however, after 1 July 2016 anyone with an Air Weapon who does not hold a Firearms or Shotgun Certificate will have to apply for a licence which must be valid before 1st January 2017.
A public awareness campaign, to inform people about the new legislation has been launched by the Scottish Government.
Information about the new licensing rules and the application process can also be found at: website.
Police Scotland will undertake a national surrender campaign until June 12th.
This will allow anyone who no longer wishes to keep an air weapon for certification, the opportunity to surrender their weapon(s) for destruction, safely.
Chief Inspector Mairi MacInnes advises: “Members of the public surrendering an air weapon at a police office should ensure that the weapon is covered (in a case or a bag) to avoid causing alarm to others and should avoid carrying weapons on public transport. Air weapons should not be surrendered to officers on the street.
“Anyone who has an air weapon which they no longer use or need can surrender it at their local police office, at any time, even prior to the surrender campaign.
“If it is not practical for anyone to attend at a police station then they should contact the Police on 101 and ask for arrangements to be made to have the air weapon collected by their local police.”