Date lodged: 14 December 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what steps were taken to ensure that all air gun owners applied for a certificate before the deadline of 31 October 2016.
Answered by: Michael Matheson 11 January 2017
The Scottish Government has, alongside Police Scotland, undertaken a wide-ranging public information campaign to advise people about the new legislation. A dedicated website was launched on 23 March 2016. This is at www.airweapon.scot . The website summarises the legislation, offers a check tool for those unclear about whether they might need a certificate, and has an extensive FAQ section. The 31 October deadline was clearly publicised on the website. To date, the website has had more than 101,000 visits from 73,000 visitors.
We also provided a detailed “toolkit” for main stakeholders informing them of the new legislation and seeking their help in disseminating the information. This was picked up by a number of the main shooting organisations.
A wider public information campaign launched on Monday 16 May under the heading “No Licence – No Air Gun”. This included a country-wide poster campaign and radio advertising. Further targeted media events have taken place over the past six months, including news events in early September to remind people of the “50 days to go” for applications to be with Police Scotland by the 31 October deadline.