The Government’s announcement that it has decided “in principle” to devolve control of airguns to the Scottish Parliament has been condemned by shooting organisations.

The announcement came following a commitment from the Government in the recent Queen’s Speech to respond to the controversial findings of the Calman Commission review. The review, which was published in June by Sir Kenneth Calman, looked at Scottish devolution since 1998 and proposed a number of recommendations, including transferring control of airgun law to Holyrood.

In a statement to the House of Commons on 25 November, Scottish secretary Jim Murphy said it was time for Scotland to be made more accountable and that laws concerning airguns would be devolved, though the new powers may not be transferred for another six years. It is thought that Scottish ministers would then move towards a ban on all unlicensed airguns. Mr Murphy said: “The Westminster Government agrees in principle to devolve the regulation of airguns to the Scottish Parliament. We will introduce a Scotland Bill as soon as possible in the next Parliament to implement the Calman Commission recommendations.”

The rest of this article appears in 2nd December issue of Shooting Times.

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