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Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015


Section 30 – Failure to keep air weapons secure or to report loss to police

111.This section makes it an offence for a person in possession of an air weapon to fail to take reasonable precautions for its safe custody, or to fail to report the loss or theft of the air weapon to the Chief Constable as soon as reasonably practicable (this allows for any reasonable delay as a result of, for example, a person being ill in hospital or temporarily unaware of the loss or theft due to being on holiday). These offences apply to any person who possesses an air weapon, including natural and non-natural persons. The offences attract strict liability.

Section 31 – False statements, certificates and permits

112.This section creates two offences around providing false information in order to obtain an air weapon certificate, permit, or approval, or producing a falsified or improperly altered certificate or other information in order to obtain the repair or testing of an air weapon.

113.Subsection (1) makes it an offence to knowingly or recklessly make a statement which contains false information in order to procure an air weapon certificate, police permit, visitor permit, event permit, or club approval. This could include, for example, providing a false name, or declining to disclose a criminal history when asked. This offence may also be committed by the person verifying the application, if the verifier knew that the information was incorrect or was reckless in verifying false information.

114.Subsection (2) makes it an offence to produce a false or improperly altered air weapon certificate, police permit or visitor permit, or to provide any other false information, in order to purchase or acquire an air weapon, or to have one repaired or tested. This could include, for example, impersonating an air weapon certificate holder, or amending the details on an expired certificate so that it appeared to still be live.

Section 32 – Time limit for offences

115.This section provides that anyone committing a summary-only air weapon offence could have proceedings brought against them up to three years after that offence has been committed. Section 136 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 normally sets a time limit of six months after the offence has been committed. This only applies to summary-only offences, which is all of the offences in this Part except the ones at section 2 and section 24.

Section 33 – Offences by bodies corporate etc.

116.This section provides for cases where there may be an offence committed by a non-natural person such as a body corporate, partnership or unincorporated association (e.g. an auctioneer, carrier firm, operator of a recreational shooting facility etc.). Subsection (2) states that both the individual who committed the specific offence, as well as the corporate entity on whose behalf the criminal act was done, can be proceeded against for the purpose of that offence.

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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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