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Airguns: Licensing

Volume 464: debated on Monday 15 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) meetings she has had with the Cabinet Secretary for Justice in the Scottish Executive and (b) discussions her Department has had with the Scottish Executive on proposals to (i) introduce restrictions on the use of airguns and (ii) require licensing of all new sales of airguns; and if she will make a statement. (156841)

The misuse of air weapons in Scotland was one of a number of issues raised when I met with the Cabinet Secretary on 19 July.

The Government are determined to tackle the problem of misuse wherever it takes place and have taken action to tighten up the legislative framework. We worked closely with Scottish Ministers to include provisions in the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 which require businesses selling air weapons to register with the police as firearms dealers and to complete sales face-to-face; increase to 18 the age limit for buying and possessing air weapons; and make it an offence for any person to fire an air weapon across the boundary of premises.

These measures have only recently come into force and should be given time to take effect before further changes in the law are contemplated. We shall continue to work with Scottish Ministers to ensure communities across the country are protected from all aspects of firearms misuse.