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Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015

Section 5 – Grant or renewal of air weapon certificate

17.This section allows the Chief Constable to issue a new or renewed air weapon certificate provided that the applicant is fit to be entrusted with an air weapon; is not prohibited from possessing any firearms by section 21 of the 1968 Act (which makes provision to prohibit for life or 5 years possession of firearms, including air weapons, by persons who have been convicted and sentenced to specified terms of imprisonment); has a good reason to use, possess, purchase or acquire an air weapon (for example, pest control, sporting target shooting, or being a collector); and in all the circumstances can do so without danger to the public safety or the peace (this last test is intended to allow account to be taken of factors not only directly about the applicant but beyond, such as the applicant’s wider domestic situation or acquaintances). Further clarity on how the Chief Constable should test applicants against these criteria will be provided in guidance published by the Scottish Ministers under section 39.

18.Subsection (2) allows the Chief Constable to consider applicants who already hold a firearm or shotgun certificate issued under the 1968 Act to have met the “fit” and “not prohibited” criteria without further enquiry, on the grounds that these tests will already have been met for the grant of the firearm or shotgun certificate.

19.Subsection (3) allows the police to visit an applicant’s home, or any other place where air weapons are intended to be stored or used, and conduct enquiries relating to the criteria in subsection (1) before granting or renewing an air weapon certificate.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Scottish Government 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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