The news of a major reduction in gun crime in Scotland, particularly that involving airguns, shows that existing measures to protect the public are working well, says the Scottish Countryside Alliance.

Director Jamie Stewart said that plans for an airgun licensing system in Scotland were unnecessary, and that new regulations would only penalise legitimate gun owners.

He said: “Subjecting airgun owners to stricter controls will involve a massive bureaucratic effort and take police off the streets in order to deal with the paperwork and enforcement of a law which will not accelerate the welcome downwards trend.

“Criminals who don’t play by the rules will breathe a sigh of relief if new laws sidetrack police attention towards the thousands of law-abiding rural Scottish people who use airguns for pest control and sport.”

The Scottish Government’s figures show that there were 514 recorded offences in Scotland involving firearms in 2011/12, the lowest total recorded in 34 years.

The rest of this article appears in the 19th December issue of Shooting Times.

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