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Air Weapon Licensing in Scotland

As the holiday season approaches this is a reminder to visitors coming to Scotland that you will require a ‘Visitors Permit’ if you wish to bring an air weapon with you. See exception below for Firearm Certificate holders.

From 31 December 2016 anyone who wishes to use, possess, purchase or acquire an air weapon in Scotland will need to have a valid Air Weapon Certificate, or a temporary permit such as a Visitor Permit, unless they are otherwise exempt under the legislation.

The requirement applies to most air weapons with a muzzle energy exceeding 1 joule (0.74 ft/lbs), and up to 12ft/lbs (16.27 joules) for air rifles or air guns, or up to 6ft/lbs (8.13 joules) for an air pistol.  There are some exceptions, for example for paintball guns or airsoft weapons.

Applications for air weapon certificates or permits should be made to the Police Service of Scotland. Application forms can be downloaded from the Police Scotland website. You can find them here

If you are aged 14 or over and held a valid firearm and/or shotgun licence issued in England or Wales on 31 December 2016, you will not need a separate licence to own or use air weapons while in Scotland, until your existing certificate expires.  If the licence was granted or renewed on or after 31 December 2016, then you will need a visitor permit.

Other useful links: Guidance, BASC Advice

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