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Airgun debate results in stalemate

Shooting organisations pledged their support to help the Scottish Government cut gun crime through greater education and law enforcement at a firearms summit held in Edinburgh on 7 May. However, the meeting ended with the Scottish Government renewing its calls for Westminster to allow Holyrood to take control of its own gun law, especially for airguns.

The summit was unable to agree on a general ban of airguns, but accepted that a licensing system is probably impractical, given that there are as many as 500,000 airguns in circulation in Scotland.

Justice secretary Kenny MacAskill, who described the current law as “inadequate”, said he would be writing to the home secretary Jacqui Smith to ask for a tightening of the law:
“What is quite clear is that the current legislation we have is inadequate and inappropriate for the 21st century.”

Though invited to the summit, Ms Smith declined to attend, reiterating that firearms legislation was reserved for Westminster. Ms Smith stressed she “did not believe it would be timely to hold a joint national firearms summit” and ruled out calls for an immediate review of the 1968 Firearms Act.

The rest of this article appears in 15 May issue of Shooting Times.

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