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Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015

Section 17 – Event permits

67.This section provides for air weapon event permits. These are distinct from other permits as they are to be required where an event is to take place at which people may borrow, hire, use or possess an air weapon for a short timescale, without holding individual air weapon certificates. Examples of situations where an event permit might be granted would be a Highland Games with an air weapon shooting component, or a variant of modern biathlon or pentathlon. This section should be read in conjunction with the exemption at paragraph 10 of schedule 1.

68.Subsection (1) sets out that applications for an event permit should be made to the Chief Constable, by a person responsible for the event. A “person” here includes non-natural (e.g. corporate bodies) as well as natural persons. Event permits are granted at the Chief Constable’s discretion, and permit the borrowing, hiring, possessing and/or using of air weapons at a specified time and place, for the purpose of participating in a planned event activity as defined at subsection (7). Subsection (2) adds that the Chief Constable may attach conditions to an event permit as required.

69.Subsection (3) requires that an event permit – or a copy thereof – be displayed at the event to which it pertains. This requirement allows a participant at the event to confirm that a permit is in place and the exemption therefore applies when handling air weapons.

70.Subsections (4) and (5) create the offence of failing to comply with any condition attached to an event permit, or failing to display the permit as required by subsection (3) without a reasonable excuse. In either case the offence is committed by the event organiser named on the permit and attracts strict liability.

71.Subsection (6) states that applications for an event permit cannot be considered unless they comply with the requirements set out in regulations to be made under section 36. Separately, section 35(3) has the effect that where an application is made in compliance with the application processes it still cannot be considered by the Chief Constable until the fee is paid.

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Text created by the Scottish Executive department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills

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