Hand over your guns, says chief inspector

Police are giving folk with licensed firearms the chance to hand them over in a bid to cut down on the number of weapons in circulation and prevent them from getting into the wrong hands.

New legislation is due to come in next year requiring those with air weapons to gain a licence.

That means air-rifle holders will have to pay a fee and undergo stringent background and security checks before they can hold such a weapon.

But local officers have processed 291 firearms or shotgun applications since the beginning of this year already.

According to chief inspector Lindsay Tulloch, many gun owners have no real use for the weapons in their possession, and he is offering the opportunity to have them disposed of.

He said: “This year alone, here locally in Shetland, we’ve processed nearly 300 firearms and shotgun applications – a lot of that being renewals.

“But what we’ve been finding is that a lot of people have been sitting with weapons – shotguns and firearms – that they don’t use, and can’t really justify having.

“It’s just an encouragement for folk that are not using the weapons.

“I’m keen to get them out of circulation, and encourage folk to come into the police station and hand them in.

“Or, if they want, we can attend at peoples’ houses  and we will collect any weapons that they are not using.”

Mr Tulloch said the anticipated change in air rifle legislation, under the terms of the Air Weapon and Licensing (Scotland) Bill expected to come into effect in April, may lead to some folk deciding to give up their air weapons.

“With the air weapon legislation possibly changing on 1st April next year, there will be a number of folk with air weapons who will have to make applications for certificates to hold them.

“They’ll have to have appropriate security in place, we’ll have to go through the vetting process with them, do background checks, and they will have to pay a fee to get a certificate.

“If they are not using it will be an opportunity for us. We will come and collect them and take them out of the road and will dispose of any weapons.

“Primarily, I’m wanting to ensure these weapons don’t fall into the wrong hands, which sometimes can happen.”

He said that while most people who own air weapons or hold firearms certificates were law abiding, there remained a “small number” who use air weapons recklessly or with criminal intent.

“To help us keep people safe, I would encourage anyone who owns or possesses a firearm or air weapon but can no longer justify its possession to consider surrendering the item.”


Add Your Comment
  • Mike Byrne

    • September 11th, 2015 10:10

    This guy is talking absolute rubbish – he clearly has an anti-gun agenda.

    Firstly the people holding guns on an FAC will have had to demonstrate that they have used their guns otherwise the Police will not renew their license.

    Not all guns are weapons – the vast vast are tools used by hunters, farmers, clay pigeon or target shooters perfectly safety and legitimately.

    The dictionary definition of a weapon is anything used to inflict damage or harm to living beings and these are clearly not.

    They may be weapons in police or military hands but not civilians.

    If there is a “small number” who use air weapons recklessly or with criminal intent then he already has the authority to revoke or confiscate these guns without demonising law-abiding and licensed gun-holders.

    He should put his personal views to one side and cry out Police activities impartially.

  • jon evenden

    • September 11th, 2015 10:16

    You said it right at the bottom. Licence holders are not the problem, it’s the few people that use air arms and fire arms illegally or wrecklessly so all you do is punish us licence holders. It’s not fair!
    Yes I will be after a air licence if it’s made a law and I do kind of agree with the air rifle licence as it will stop alot of idiots from owning one.
    Criminals won’t try and steal guns out of a safe in a house where there’s people, that’s far too dangerous.
    Guns are bought on the black market just like everything else.
    You apparently surf the dark web to catch criminals so why are you not caught in the illegal gun traders?

  • Colin jenkins

    • September 11th, 2015 10:17

    I am simply staggered that someone in Chief Inspector Tulloch’s position would make such reckless, inaccurate and unfounded allegations about legally licensed firearms and shotgun owners

    To suggest that not all firearms certificate holders are law-abiding and that somehow their firearms are in “circulation” and used recklessly or with criminal intent is an appalling and unfounded allegation.

    Firearms have to be locked in a safe when not in use and if there were evidence of any wrong doing then the police would have already taken action, in addition each individual firearms requested has to have a “good reason” that has already been approved by the police, so to suggest otherwise means the police themselves aren’t doing a thorough job vetting applications in the first place.

    This has is scaremongering of the worst kind from someone who should know better.

    • Ali Inkster

      • September 11th, 2015 16:04

      He is only following orders from his political masters, does anybody else wonder why they are so keen to get guns out of private ownership while at the same time arming the police?

  • Richard de Gerber

    • September 11th, 2015 17:24

    There is no evidence of any legally held firearms in ‘circulation’ as they are clearly kept safe/secure as per firearms legislation, if they had been circulated police would be following up a breach of legislation! There’s no evidence legally held firearms pose any threat to Shetland or the wider UK community, indeed the evidence suggests that the real threat comes from illegal weapons in the hands of criminals and knife crime.
    I doubt Police Scotland wish to release stats on the number of legal firearms stolen/used subsequently by criminals, as the numbers would just embarrass them and highlight the sheer volume of illegal weapons used in crime, especially since Mr Blair’s kneejerk hand gun ban, which criminals seem to have totally ignored!
    So in these times of reduced budgets and scarce resources rather than senior police officers repeatedly focusing on legally held firearms by people who have no criminal record it would be considerably more productive for officers to focus upon the criminal fraternity and their access/use of illegal weapons, they should also up their stop and search numbers on the streets to reduce knife crime, that’s the policing communities want!

  • Colin Jenkins

    • September 12th, 2015 12:39

    Dear Sirs

    Regarding this appalling article reporting on Chief Inspector Tullochs ill-informed, biased and quite frankly, Insulting comments on the legal ownership of firearms and shotguns in Shetland.

    Can I suggest that if the Media spend as much time reporting British shooting sports successes and the actual facts regarding legally held firearms in this country, as they do demonising firearms and misleading audiences by including legal gun ownership figures in stories about gun crime and vice-versa (One has nothing to do with the other!), then just maybe, you could be proud of an article that is balanced, factual and above all honest – unlike this sensationalist diatribe masquerading as news.

    The Britsh Women’s Trap team have just won Gold and become 2015 World Champions – let’s celebrate our shooting successes for a change..! But I doubt the Media will bother because it doesn’t jibe with their anti-gun agenda!!


  • Wil Hawkes

    • September 12th, 2015 14:14

    “But what we’ve been finding is that a lot of people have been sitting with weapons – shotguns and firearms – that they don’t use, and can’t really justify having.”

    If they can’t justify having them you shouldn’t have given them certificates in the first place. The rules aren’t just for us, you know? He probably thinks taking legal guns out of the hands of licensed owners is a good one… especially after gun crime decreased after the reaction to Dunblane. Oh wait…

  • iantinkler

    • September 12th, 2015 19:56

    Let’s get real here. We have no recent incidences in Shetland of a Firearm, legally held, doing harm to anyone. Statistically the one most at risk is the owner (suicide). A far, far greater danger is from the car, that is a real killer on Shetland. Maybe chief inspector Lindsay Tulloch should concentrate his energies there. That way he may not make quite such a spectical of himself and stop alienating the population. Incidentally, if he thinks his force is winning the war on drugs, he must be delusional. the increase in seizures just mirrors the increase in supply. Daft PR statement are just that, daft.

  • Tim Tait

    • September 13th, 2015 18:06

    Don’t do it brothers and sisters. Remember: the only government that truly wants it’s citizens unarmed is one like Adolf Hitlers so that they can control you with no repercussions.


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