Date lodged: 5 January 2017
To ask the Scottish Government how many air (a) rifles and (b) weapons it estimates there are in Scotland and how many of these were licenced on 1 January 2017.
Answered by: Michael Matheson 27 January 2017
At the time of preparing Part 1 of the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill, we estimated that there may be some 500,000 air weapons in circulation in Scotland. That figure was based on known sales and other factors over a long period and was agreed in discussions with the Scottish Firearms Consultative Panel of experts who advised the Government on the development of the legislation. The Panel included the police and members of the shooting lobby.
The new licensing regime applies to people, not individual guns. A certificate holder may use, possess, purchase or acquire any number of air weapons. No record is kept of the number of weapons held on each certificate.