BASC will continue to fight against a clause in the Scotland Bill which would hand over power to decide on airgun legislation in Scotland to the Scottish Parliament.

Its message came as MPs gathered at Westminster to discuss a number of the Bill?s clauses, including Clause 11, which would enable Holyrood to legislate to create a separate regulatory regime for airguns in Scotland.

Speaking to Shooting Times after the debate, BASC?s director of communications, Christopher Graffius, said ?There is no justification for devolving power over airguns to Scotland. This is a prime example of knee-jerk, piecemeal legislation that has bedeviled firearms laws. We would be failing in our duty to protect our members? right to go shooting if we did not take this seriously.?

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Conservative MP for the Cotswolds and chairman of the all-party group on shooting and conservation, spoke during the debate. He pointed out that shooting contributes £240million to the Scottish economy, and that ?airguns are the entry point into the sport.?

?There is, therefore, really no need for any further amendments to the firearms legislation?, he said. ?There is nothing peculiarly Scottish about airgun controls or crime, so there is no justification for creating a system for Scotland that differs from the current regime in England.?

The rest of this article appears in 16th March issue of Shooting Times.

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