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Proposals for Licensing Air Weapons in Scotland

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Security

52. Existing firearms legislation requires specific and detailed arrangements to be in place for storing and transporting firearms and shotguns. As part of the licence application process, a firearm licensing officer will generally visit the home of the applicant to ensure that appropriate security arrangements are in place.

53. Since February 2011, the Crime and Security Act 2010 makes it an offence for a person in possession of an air gun to fail to take "reasonable precautions" to prevent someone under the age of 18 from gaining unauthorised access to it. A defence is provided where a person can show he had reasonable grounds for believing the other person to be aged 18 or over.

54. The issue of reasonable precautions has wider implications in considering more general security over air weapons. Different considerations will apply depending on whether an air weapon is in use or not. In many cases, when not in use an existing, suitably robust, lockable cupboard may provide sufficient security to avoid unauthorised access to the weapon. Alternatively, owners may use a locking device (such as a security cord) by which an air weapon can be attached to the fabric of a building, in a secure cupboard or to another fixed feature.

55. While these arrangements are specifically aimed at ensuring compliance with the 2011 Act, they provide good principles for ensuring the security of air weapons more generally.

56. Beyond this, a weapons owner may choose to store air weapons in an existing gun cabinet, provided this did not compromise security of those other firearms.