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Statistical Bulletin: Crime and Justice Series: Firearm Certificates Statistics, Scotland, 2009


2. Main Points

  • There were 26,072 firearm certificates on issue at the end of 2009 ( Table 1), a decrease of one per cent on the previous year, and nine per cent lower than the number in 2000 (see Chart 1).
  • The 26,072 firearm certificates on issue at the end of 2009 covered the possession of 70,856 firearms. There was a two per cent increase of firearms in 2009 compared to 2008. The number of firearms held on certificate has been rising in recent years and the number held in 2009 was the highest in the ten years covered by this bulletin ( Table 1). The number of firearms possessed for each certificate has increased from 2.0 in 2000 to 2.7 in 2009.
  • In 2009, there were 1,124 applications for new firearms certificates, of which 1,112 (99 per cent) were granted. There were 2,101 applications for renewal, of which all but one application was granted ( Table 2).
  • There were 1,312 cancellations of firearm certificates and 43 firearm certificates were revoked ( Tables 2 & 2a).
  • Of 54,612 firearms possessed on certificate where the type of weapon was known, the majority (83 per cent) were rifles ( Table 3).
  • There were 50,308 shot gun certificates on issue at the end of 2009, an increase of less than one per cent from 2008, but 14 per cent lower than at the end of 2000 ( Table 4).
  • The 50,308 shot gun certificates on issue at the end of 2009 covered the possession of 137,768 shot guns. There was a decrease in possession of 0.1 per cent compared to 2008, but an increase of 11 per cent since the end of 2000. In 2009, the average number of shot guns possessed for each certificate was 2.7 ( Table 4), up from 2.1 in 2000.
  • The number of applications for a new shot gun certificate was 1,693 in 2009, three per cent lower than in 2008. Of these applications 99 per cent (1,671) were granted. There were 3,476 applications for renewal of shot gun certificates, all of which were granted ( Tables 4 & 5).
  • In 2009, there were 1,348 cancellations of shot gun certificates and 71 revocations of shot gun certificates ( Tables 5 & 5a).
  • As shown in Chart 4, the numbers of both firearm and shot gun certificates on issue, per head of population, were highest in the Northern police force area and lowest in Strathclyde ( Tables 2 & 5).
  • There were 335 registered firearms dealers in Scotland at the end of 2009, an increase of two per cent from the 327 registered dealers at the end of 2008 ( Table 6). No new applications were refused in 2009.
  • The number of registered dealers per head of population (see Table 7) was highest in Northern police force area (21 dealers per 100,000 population) and lowest in Lothian and Borders (3 per 100,000 population).
  • The number of applications for Visitors' Permits from both EC and non- EC residents ( Table 8) in 2009 totalled 2,398 for firearms, a decrease of two per cent on the previous year; and 4,122 for shot guns, down 7 per cent from 2008.
  • The number of European Firearm Passes ( Table 9) on issue increased by three per cent and reached 1,276 at the end of 2009.