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Volume 167: debated on Wednesday 14 February 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many dart gun firearms certificates have been granted, how many persons now have such weapons in Scotland, broken down by police force areas; and how many are held by (a) deer farmers and (b) others.

Guns that are specially designed or adapted to discharge tranquillising darts are defined as prohibited weapons under the terms of section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968 and as such may not be purchased, acquired or possessed by anyone without the prior authority in writing of my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, and the consequent issue of a firearm certificate by the chief constable of the area in which the applicant is based.The available information is set out in the table:

Police forceTotal number of current S.5 authorities relating to dart gunsNumber of S.5 authorities relating to dart guns known to be issued to deer farmers
Central Scotland police52
Dumfries and Galloway constabulary6Nil
Fife constabulary41
Grampian police172
Lothian and Borders police111
Northern constabulary172
Strathclyde police81
Tayside police72
In addition one registered firearms dealer in the Fife constabulary area has been given authority under section 5 to deal specifically in tranquillising dart guns.