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Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015

Section 13 – Visitor permits

47.This and the following related sections provide for a system whereby visitors to Scotland may apply to the Chief Constable for a permit to use, possess, purchase or acquire air weapons while in Scotland, without holding an air weapon certificate. This section should be read in conjunction with the exemption at paragraph 9 of schedule 1.

48.Subsection (4) sets out the criteria for grant of a visitor permit. For individual visitors, subsection (4)(a) requires the applicant to have a good reason, and subsection (4)(c) provides that the visitor must not be prohibited from possessing firearms, nor should their possession of an air weapon present a danger to the public. These requirements match those for applicants for an air weapon certificate in section 5, with the omission of the ‘fit person’ test which would be difficult to apply effectively to visitors from abroad.

49.Subsections (2) and (3) allow for applications by groups of two to 20 people to be made on behalf of the group. The Chief Constable does not have to grant or refuse every member of the group a permit en bloc and can reject some while accepting others. Subsection (4)(b) provides that the Chief Constable must be satisfied that each member of the group individually is to use and possess an air weapon only for certain purposes. Each member of the group individually must also not be prohibited from possessing firearms, nor should their possession of an air weapon present a danger to the public. Subsection (5) permits the Chief Constable to require proof from the person applying on behalf of the group that the group has the permission of the owner or occupier of the land in question for the activities mentioned in subsection (4)(b)(i) and (ii).

50.Subsection (6) requires the Chief Constable to attach a condition to a visitor permit granted as part of a group application which restricts the permit holder to taking part in the activity or activities listed in subsection (4)(b) for which the permit has been granted. However, subsection (6) does not apply to a visitor who is part of a group but is aged 14-17, who will be subject to the separate restrictions under section 14.

51.Subsection (7) allows visitor permits to have variable durations, set at the discretion of the Chief Constable, although subsection (8) sets a maximum duration of 12 months.

52.Subsection (9) requires that an application for a visitor permit must comply with the requirements set out in regulations issued under section 36 or it will not be regarded as having been made. The effect is that an application for a permit cannot be considered by the Chief Constable if the application processes set out in the regulations are not followed. 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.

53.Subsection (10) provides definitions, including specifying that applicants for a visitor permit must be aged 14 or over, and must live outside Scotland but intend to visit (or, be visiting at the time of application).

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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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