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While Scotland may technically be a part of the United Kingdom, it operates almost as an entirely separate entity from England. And something that separate government is thinking about doing is instituting a licensing scheme for air guns. According to the BBC, this has been met with some resistance — to the tune of an 87% opposition.

From the BBC:

Under the proposed new scheme, anyone wanting to own an air gun would need to demonstrate they had a legitimate reason for doing so.

A total 87% of respondents rejected the idea – with some describing it as “draconian” and “heavy-handed”.

Naturally, the BBC then went on to use the rest o the article to illustrate that 6% of people thought the regulations “didn’t go far enough” and outlining the isolated incidents that prompted those responses as if they were widespread and pervasive.

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49 Responses to Massive Opposition to Proposed Airgun Licensing in Scotland

  1. A “need” for an air gun? Is recreational activity considered a valid “need”?

      • Yep.. Some even surpass some .22LR in performance. .22LR has killed plenty of deer, especially when it used to be legal to use such a small round.

      • True, if you can’t buy a “fire”arm that does open up a whole new “need” for an “air” gun, but in the land of (one last single) freedom, an air gun is a toy for amusement (unless you’re a convicted felon maybe).

        • That sounds crazy and interesting. Can you provide us with a make and model as an example?

        • Then again you can take out an F-22 Raptor with a pumpkin chucker.

        • Interesting, but the .308 model produces an average of 760fps at 3000psi for a whopping 165lb/ft of energy, which is 22lr territory. The .50 will get you 25% more energy but fires a round ball and is surpassed by the .308 by 100 yards. Deadly, sure, and I can see why the ruling class would treat them the same as a firearm, but I sure wouldn’t want to take on a cape buffalo with one.

        • I said you could hunt “large game” with the largest air rifles. I said nothing about “dangerous game.”

          You’d also be stupid to take on a Cape Buff with a .30-06, as many American hunters tried to do in the days of old. There are reasons why the Brits developed a line of increasingly absurd and large cartridges for their double guns 100+ years ago, up to and including the Four Bore rifle.

          As for the best example of a large-bore airgun in history: I argue that the single most important gun in the history of the United States was the air rifle carried by the Lewis and Clark expedition.

        • Your four bore comment led me to reading about them, and then on to two bore, firing a half pound shell (photo)… The Wikipedia article on the two bore has a pretty amusing story from a noted hunter of Victorian times.

      • Forget about the newer ones.

        There was one a long time ago, .50 Caliber, that could, according to some accounts that may or may not be accurate, inflict lethal damage to something AFTER passing entirely through an average buck at the rib cage.

    • The term airgun in this instance refers to rifles which produce less than 12ft·lb at the muzzle, or pistols which produce less than 6ft·lb. In the UK these can be bought over the counter at a Registered Firearms Dealer by anyone over the age of 18. A rifle which produces more than 12ft·lb requires a good reason for ownership and is entered on an individual’s Firearms Certificate in England, Scotland and Wales. A pistol which produces more than 6ft·lb is a prohibited weapon – in a similar manner to a normal short barreled firearm, (that’s a pistol or revolver in plain speak).

      P.S The Scottish National Party also want to ban the use of airguns for informal plinking on one’s own property ie: a garden.

  2. Scotland will be voting for true independence in 2014. Here’s hoping they’ll finally get out from under england.

    • I have sorta been following this, and though the demand for it is far too large to be called a “fringe,” I still don’t see it happening.

    • Under England or not, the loonies have prevailed in my ancestral homeland. Freedom isn’t even on the list of things people in Scotland now deem important. Left to there own devices, Scotland will become the Detroit of the UK.

      • It’s actually the Scottish National Party (SNP) which has forwarded these proposals – it’s nothing to do with Westminster whatsoever. Please have a look at my post further down the page for more information if you’re interested. If the Scottish people do indeed vote to devolve powers from Westminster next year then I hold out little hope for their shooters. The SNP is completely set against the civilian ownership of firearms of all types, and will undoubtedly take steps to limit their use above and beyond any system currently in use within the UK.

  3. We had this nonsense here in Australia since 1996. Basically air rifles are regarded by the law the same as 22s. Meaning besides having a “genuine reason” to have one, you also need to register it and wait for it, buy a gun safe. So basically you need to fork out $500+ (license is $250, $200ish for cheapest safe, training) or so before you get to buy your air rifle.

      • That used to be the case here too, to a lesser degree. In my state (Queensland) until about 1990 you could buy any long arm (handguns are another matter) without license/permit or even a background check as long as it wasn’t FA and was longer than 75 cm (about 30″).

    • And all these requirements have killed the market for BB guns. While they are regarded as a firearm, in the past you could just show your license and buy a BB gun for about $50. Now you have to apply for a permit to acquire, submit the form, wait about 2-3 months for approval, and then buy the gun once approved.

      • Well, at least you can still legally buy semi-auto air rifles, simply because the morons who wrote the legislation were not aware of them. Similarly with level action shotguns, which are legal, but not semi-auto or pumps (unless you can get C-Class license).

        • Australians have been led down the anti-liberty gauntlet to the social freedom guillotine.

          Get out and come help us preserve our rights, & yours.

          Here is your formal invitation.

        • Lol in NJ all gun-like objects are guns. Doesn’t matter if its real or not. BB guns are no different.

  4. Well, post-war UK has been voting in leftists most of the time, and these are the results of it – same with the other Anglo and Western European nations, and now the U.S. has voted in the present anit-Constitution “socialist” regime for a second term. We’re on our way – just a few decades behind the curve.

  5. Licensing air guns… This is the problem with democracy, the intolerant, the low information voter, and those that know it is wrong and do nothing – all combined together in a mixing bowl, blended, and baked. Democracy by consistently supporting the majority over time homogenizes everyone into a like minded people where those who are culturally dissident are ostracized and laws are passed against them for a better mixture. This is why is it so very important that we as gun owners and people of the gun pass on our culture and knowledge to the next generation as widely and generously as possible.

    • Not the majority, yet the elitist rulership push their political might.

      We do not have rulers we have servants. It is time they remembered that.

      Is the servant greater than the master? Does the servant give commands and the Master follow?

      The Bill of Rights is the commands of the masters to the servants. Un-Constitutional laws and Amendments are rebellions of the servants against the Masters.

  6. I hate to be the pessimist but the BBC article indicates the survey was sent to 112 organizations, including wildlife and hunting. So it was not a poll of the population at large. Secondly, the member of parliament quoted at the end says “licensing will happen.” Sad.

  7. The Scots are an example of how welfare dependency ruins democracies.

    Once upon a time, the Scots knew the true extent and fury of weapons control. In the days of the Highland Clearances, any man found in possession of arms (either a gun or sword), wearing the tartan or in possession of the war pipes was to be put to death immediately.

    The English performed what is arguably one of the first modern “ethnic cleansing” operations on the Highlands subsequent to their weapons control, shipping Scots off to North Ireland (ever wonder why North Ireland is Protestant in a Catholic country? Wonder no longer. They’re not Irish – they’re displaced Scots), Canada and the eastern US.

    Today, after 100+ years of welfare handouts destroying their native thrift and work ethic that made the Scots’ contributions in inventions and engineering to western civilization absurdly out-sized to their population, Scots have become the usual sort of boot-licking toadies of government thugs you’d find in any third world country. The tactics employed to achieve this end are the same as everywhere: Turn people into beggars, because they’re easier to please than free men.

  8. I’ve been actively following the campaign against the proposals with “No To Airgun Licensing In Scotland” on Facebook. They organised a petition opposing the scheme which currently sits at over 14,000 signatures.

    The Scottish National Party is absolutely opposed to the civilian ownership of firearms of all types. Not only do they want to license airguns but the “Justice Secretary”, MacAskill, has said previously that he would like to limit Firearms License holders to three guns total. There’s truly no rhyme or reason behind this attitude other than blatant hoplophobia.

    The SNP are so blatantly antagonistic on the issue it makes my blood boil. Despite the huge opposition to the scheme MacAskill remains defiant: “We have always been clear that licensing will happen and this has been a valuable exercise in highlighting issues and drawing out concerns around our suggested changes.

    “It is important that we now consider all views submitted as we continue to develop a system of licensing that is fair, proportionate and practicable for police and shooters alike.” A democrat he is most certainly not.

    One of the primary campaigners for the introduction of further legislation on airguns is the father of a young boy, Andrew Morton, tragically shot and killed with an airgun some years ago. What infuriates me above all is the fact that Mr Morton’s son was actually shot with Mr Morton’s own airgun, in his own home by his drug dealer who had visited the house at Mr Morton’s and his partner’s request to help them feed their drug habit! I kid you not!

    The SNP will attempt to further their civilian disarmament agenda at whatever opportunity. I sincerely hope that those entitled to do so vote against Scottish devolution when the issue comes up for referendum in 2014.

    • In truth, the SNP are little more than a bunch of marxist pot-bangers. They want control of Scotland and the North Sea oil so that they can distribute the tax proceeds to their own, much smaller, group of grifters, rather than allow the Labour Party of the UK to spread the wealth to a much larger group of grifters.

      • I’d like to correct one of my statements in my post above. I was mistaken to state the details of Andrew Morton’s death as I did. It appears that the man who murdered Andrew, Mark Bonini, shot him in the head from his own flat (apartment) window, using his own air gun. Andrew’s parents were not involved at any stage. I’d like to apologise for the confusion – I’ll be sure to better research my facts before making similar posts in future.

        Incidentally, Andrew’s parents were arrested and convicted of drug dealing approximately a year after his death. I can only presume that this is were the rumors that I took to be fact originated from.

  9. Please have a look at https://www.facebook.com/NoToAirgunLicencingInScotland?fref=ts for more information about airgun licensing in Scotland. If I recall correctly the petition against the proposal has over 21,000 signatures.

    Another good source of UK specific information is Firearms UK. http://www.firearmsuk.org. They are trying to unite the UK shooting community to fight restrictions. For example they have started a petition to bring back .22 rimfire pistol target shooting. http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/62588

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