17th February 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Air weapon amnesty extended

12 comments, , by , in News

More than 11,000 air weapons have been handed into police stations across Scotland as part of a police campaign – with 139 in Shetland during last month.

Police have said the Air Weapon Surrender programme has brought in 11,569 air weapons, with 1,107 surrendered in the highland and islands division.

The Shetland figure was collected between 12th and 21st June. Officers said the majority of weapons have been sent for destruction.

Police Scotland said it has extended the amnesty until 31st December 2016 and said arrangements are in place at all police stations within the division to allow for any unwanted weapons to be handed in for destruction.

Members of the public who no longer wish to keep an air weapon are encouraged to hand it in to their nearest police station before the end of the year.

Officers can collect air weapons in more remote areas by calling 101.

Police said the new licensing regime is not a ban on air weapons but a way people can use air weapons in a regulated way without compromising public safety.

Information of how to apply can be found at http://www.scotland.police.uk/about-us/finance/service-fees-and-charges/firearms/air-weapon-licensing/

They added to keep or use an air weapon after 31st December 2016 without a licence could result in prosecution under the Air Weapon and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 which carries penalties of a fine or up to two years imprisonment.


About Adam Guest

Reporter for The Shetland Times. I have also worked as a senior news reporter at The Press and Journal, The Barnsley Chronicle and as a freelance reporter for The Doncaster Free Press. Alongside news reporting I specialise in music and sports journalism. Pork pie lover.

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  1. Robert Sandison

    As the requirements for a AWC almost mirror that for a FAC it will in effect be a ban for most people . I do not see the justification for this as the number of offences involving air guns have been falling sharply for the last 10 years . http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Crime-Justice/TrendFirearm

  2. Robert Sandison

    Around 12,000 air guns handed so far . That means there are still 488,000 still to be accounted for .[The SNP has stated that there were 500,000 airguns in circulation in Scotland as airgun shooting was a very popular sport. I do not know how the they arrived at this figure ]

  3. ian tinkler

    Sad fact, air weapons can be as dangerous as cars. Perhaps the same tests and training may be a good idea. Too many idiots around for anything else. Not hard to learn basic safety with firearms, you do not teach that by giving an air rifle to a child.

    • Robert Sandison

      On average one person a year in the UK is killed by a air gun [usually accidents involving high powered air guns which already require a FAC ] I would guess the number killed and seriously injured by vehicles would number into the thousands . In fact lighting kills more than air guns [Three on average each year in UK ]

  4. ian tinkler

    or this as the number of offences involving airguns have been falling sharply for the last 10 years . “offences involving airguns” Jesus, what a comment, what do you have to do to commit an offence with an airgun?. One offence is too many, get airguns out of the hands of idiots.

    • Robert Sandison

      The number of reported offences involving air guns was 667 in 2005 . Last year it was 182 this would indicate that the present laws are working just fine . Why spend tens of millions of pounds and create a huge extra workload for the police at a time of slashed budgets when the problem is falling rapidly year on year not going up ? I would add that the number of people convicted of vehicle offences last year in Scotland was around 33,000 .

    • Robert Sandison

      Ian can i ask you a question ? Do you think these new laws [over 100 new offences created ] will lower or increase the annual number of offences involving low powered air guns ?

  5. Robert Sandison

    Your headline air weapon amnesty is misleading as these airguns are still legally held handing them in can not be classed as an amnesty . That suggests the owners are currently doing something wrong . Also there is currently no such thing as a gun ”licence ” in the UK . There are gun certificates . Certificate and licence have two completely different legal meanings .

  6. Robert Sandison

    Here is a link with some useful information for air gun owners .http://www.sacs.org.uk/images/SACS%20AIRGUN%20FAQs_1464875633007.pdf

  7. Robert Sandison

    Despite what the SNP now claim they did indeed intend to impose a complete blanket ban on all air guns in Scotland . They only reluctantly changed this when they realized the cost of compensating the 500,000 air gun owners in Scotland . They then changed tact and imposed the most draconian laws they could dream up . In fact it will now be a lot harder to get a Air Weapon Certificate than a Shotgun certificate .http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/snp-pledge-to-use-new-powers-to-ban-airguns-1-1042280

  8. ian tinkler

    Further to above. Law working fine??

    1. 1Department of Ophthalmology, Southern General Hospital, Glasgow
    2. 2Tennent Institute of Ophthalmology, Western Infirmary, Glasgow
    Forty-one consecutive cases of ocular injury related to air gun pellets occurring.
    The male to female ratio was 7:1 and the average age was fifteen years. Hyphaema was the most common injury (78%) while the main cause of poor final visual outcome was retinal detachment. Thirty-eight percent of the involved eyes had a final corrected visual acuity of less than 6/60 including four eyes (10%) which were enucleated following severe perforating injuries.
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  9. David Spence

    Since the Conservatives (Political Party) love the USA so much as to wanting to emulate everything American in terms of running the economy as well as politics (eventually) they should also copy and legislate under USA guns laws (in all forms) just to make sure our society will be ever so much safer than present legislation………..afterall, giving everybody the use of guns (an out-dated amendment in their out-dated Constitution) will always make a much safer society………and far less gun crime and killings.


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