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Criminal Reform Targets Air Gun Control

Anyone who owns an airgun will need to have a license under the new Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill.

Under the new proposals which were brought in following the death of two-year-old Andrew Morton, who was shot in the head with an airgun in 2005, anyone who owns an airgun will need to prove that they own it for a justified reason.

David John Penn, of the British Shooting Sports Council, said “a licensing system will not be very likely immediately to flush out those who are criminally inclined”.

He added: “They will just stay quiet, not be licensed. There is plenty of law existing now to effectively prosecute people misusing air weapons. The licensing would not help very much.”

Graham Ellis, chair of the Scottish Air Rifle and Pistol Association agreed with Penn stating that there was little evidence that owning an air gun lead to criminality.

Currently estimations have around 500,000 air guns in use in Scotland, with the legislation completing the Scottish Government’s long term aim to license guns.

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