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Guide to air weapon licensing in Scotland

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Appendix 6: Offences

Below is a summary of the offences under the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015. For full details, please refer to the 2015 Act itself.

Section

Offence

Section 2(1)

Using, possessing, purchasing or acquiring an air weapon without holding a valid Air Weapon Certificate

Section 6(4)

Failure to comply with a condition attached to an Air Weapon Certificate

Section 11(5)

Failure to comply with a revocation notice given under section 11(3), without reasonable excuse

Section 15(4)

Failure to comply with a condition attached to a police permit or a visitor permit

Section 16(6)

Failure to comply with a revocation notice given under section 16(1), without reasonable excuse

Section 17(4)

Failure to –

  • comply with a condition attached to an event permit; or
  • prominently display the permit (or copy) at the event, without reasonable excuse

Section 22(6)

Obstruction of a constable or member of police staff in the exercise of their powers under an authorisation granted under section 22

Section 23(2)

Failure by the operator of a recreational shooting facility to –

  • hold, or (if not an individual) ensure that an individual responsible for the management or operation of the facility holds, an Air Weapon Certificate; or
  • prominently display the certificate (or copy) at the facility, without reasonable excuse

Section 24(1)

Undertaking certain transactions in relation to air weapons, by way of trade or business, without being a registered firearms dealer

Section 24(2)

Failure to comply with the restrictions on selling or transferring air weapons to another person

Section 24(3)

Failure to comply with the restrictions on manufacturing, repairing or testing air weapons for another person

Section 25(2)

Failure by a seller to comply with the requirement for commercial sales of air weapons to be carried out in person (face-to-face)

Section 26(4)

Obstruction of a constable or member of police staff in the exercise of their powers under a warrant granted under section 26

Section 27(3)

Failure to provide a constable with name and address when required to do so under section 27, or providing a false name or address

Section 28(4)

Failure to comply with a requirement to surrender an Air Weapon Certificate within the 21 days, following cancellation of the certificate, without reasonable excuse

Section 30(1)

Failure to –

  • take reasonable precautions for the safe custody of an air weapon; or
  • report as soon as reasonably practicable the theft or loss of an air weapon

Section 31(1)

Knowingly or recklessly making a false statement for the purposes of procuring: the grant, renewal or variation of an Air Weapon Certificate; the grant or variation of a police or visitor permit; the grant of an even permit, or the grant, renewal or variation of an approval of an air weapon club

Section 31(2)

With a view to purchasing, acquiring or procuring the repair or testing of an air weapon –

  • producing an Air Weapon Certificate or a police or visitor permit which is false or has been improperly altered; or
  • knowingly or recklessly making a statement which is false.

Section 38(4)

Failure to comply with any of the conditions mentioned in section 38(3), which restrict the use or possession of air weapons for the purposes of the transitional arrangements set out for existing firearm or shot gun certificate holders in section 38

In addition, The Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 (Consequential Provisions) Order 2017 amended section 3 of the Firearms Act 1968, creating a new offence where a pawnbroker in Scotland takes an air weapon in pawn. This puts air weapons onto the same footing as firearms and shotguns under section 3(6) of the 1968 Act.