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Firearm Certificates Statistics, Scotland, 2003

DescriptionAnnual statistics for the number of firearm and shot gun certificates on issue in Scotland, 2003.
ISBN0 7559 3737 6
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateMay 27, 2004

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Statistical Bulletin
Criminal Justice Series CrJ/2004/4
FIREARM CERTIFICATES STATISTICS, SCOTLAND, 2003

Published May 2004

A Scottish Executive National Statistics Publication

This document is also available in pdf format (440k)

CONTENTS

1. Introduction
2. Main Points
3. Commentary :
Firearm Certificates
Shot Gun Certificates
Firearm Dealers
Visitor's Permits
European Firearm Passes
4. Appendix of tables
5. Annex : Notes on statistics used in this bulletin
Scottish Executive Statistical Services
Correspondence and enquiries

1. Introduction

This bulletin presents information for the years 1994 to 2003 on the issue of firearm and shot gun certificates under the Firearms Act 1968 (as amended). Statistics on the number of crimes and offences involving the alleged use of a firearm in 2002 were published in The Scottish Executive statistical bulletin, "Recorded Crimes and Offences Involving Firearms, Scotland, 2002" in September 2003. The corresponding figures for 2003 will be published in a bulletin later in the year.

Changes in regulation regarding the length of time a firearm or shot gun certificate was valid for changed with effect from 1 January 1995, increasing the period of certification from three to five years. As this includes both applications for new certificates and renewals of existing certificates this effectively meant that no certificates required renewal in either 1998 or 1999. This had the knock-on effect that primarily only those certificates which were newly applied for in 1998 required renewal in 2003. This has meant that the number of renewals of firearm and shot gun certificates are very low for 2003, as is the number of cancellations. Further information is given in the Notes in the Annex.

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2. Main Points
  • There were 26,605 firearm certificates on issue at the end of 2003, an increase of 1 per cent (393) on the previous year and the first increase since 1995.
  • In 2003, there were 1,037 applications for new firearms certificate, a decrease of 16 per cent when compared with 2002. Although the number of applications fell between 2002 and 2003, there were nevertheless more applications than cancellations in the year; thus increasing the number of certificates on issue at the end of the year.
  • In 2003, 1,536 firearm certificates were renewed, a decrease of 78 per cent compared with 7,005 renewals in 2002 ( see Introduction and Note 9), and 10 applications for renewal were refused.
  • Over a quarter of all firearms certificates on issue were in the Northern police force area, whilst Grampian and Strathclyde jointly accounted for around a further third of the total.
  • The 26,605 firearm certificates on issue at December 31 2003 covered the possession of 60,440 firearms. This represents a 0.3 per cent decrease on the number of firearms in 2002, and the average number of firearms possessed on each certificate remained at 2.3.
  • There were 52,421 shot gun certificates on issue at the end of 2003, an increase of 1 per cent (643) on the previous year and the first increase since 1988.
  • The number of applications for a new shot gun certificate was 1,656 in 2003, 62 (4 per cent) less than the number recorded in 2002. Although the number of applications fell between 2002 and 2003, there were nevertheless more applications than cancellations in the year; thus increasing the number of certificates on issue at the end of the year.
  • There were 2,802 renewed shot gun certificates in 2003, a decrease of 81 per cent compared with 14,617 renewals in 2002 ( see Introduction and Note 9), with 10 applications for renewal being refused.
  • Strathclyde, Grampian and Northern police force areas jointly constituted more than half of all shot gun certificates on issue at the end of 2003.
  • The number of firearm and shot gun certificates on issue per head of population was highest in the Northern police force area and lowest in Strathclyde.
  • The 52,421 shot gun certificates on issue covered the possession of 125,395 shot guns, a 2.3 per cent increase on 2002. The average number of shot guns possessed on each certificate remained at 2.4.
3. Commentary

3.1 Firearm Certificates

  • There were 26,605 firearm certificates on issue at the end of 2003, an increase of 1 per cent (393) on the previous year and the first increase since 1995.
  • In 2003, there were 1,037 applications for new firearms certificate, a decrease of 16 per cent when compared with 2002. Over the ten-year period 1994-2003 the annual number of applications for new firearms certificates has decreased by 48 per cent, from 2,005 in 1994. Although the number of applications fell between 2002 and 2003, there were nevertheless more applications than cancellations in the year; thus increasing the number of certificates on issue at the end of the year.
  • The number of applications granted was 1,023. Fourteen applications (1.4 per cent) were refused.
  • In 2003, 1,536 firearm certificates were renewed, a decrease of 78 per cent compared with 7,005 renewals in 2002 ( see Introduction and Note 9), and 10 applications for renewal were refused.
  • There were 657 cancellations of firearm certificates, a decrease of 71 per cent compared with 2,241 cancellations in 2002 ( see Introduction and Note 9). In addition, the police revoked 34 firearm certificates.

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  • Over a quarter (7,236) of all firearms certificates on issue were in the Northern police force area, whilst Grampian and Strathclyde jointly accounted for around a further third of the total.
  • The number of firearm certificates on issue per head of population was highest in the Northern police force area (2,627 per 100,000 population) and lowest in Strathclyde (174 per 100,000 population).
  • The 26,605 firearm certificates on issue at December 31 2003 covered the possession of 60,440 firearms (0.3 per cent decrease on 2002). In addition, a further 8,120 certificates authorised the purchase or acquisition of firearms ( see Note 8). The average number of firearms possessed for each certificate remained at 2.3 for 2003.
  • Nearly ninety per cent of certified firearms where the type of weapon was known were rifles possessed or authorised to be purchased.

3.2 Shot Gun Certificates

  • There were 52,421 shot gun certificates on issue at the end of 2003, an increase of 1 per cent (643) on the previous year and the first increase since 1988.
  • The number of applications for a new shot gun certificate was 1,656 in 2003, 62 (4 per cent) less than the number recorded in 2002. Although the number of applications fell between 2002 and 2003, there were nevertheless more applications than cancellations in the year; thus increasing the number of certificates on issue at the end of the year.
  • Permission was granted for 1,618 new shot gun certificates, a decrease of 3 per cent (54) from the 1,672 granted in 2002. Thirty eight applications (2 per cent) were refused.

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  • There were 2,802 renewed shot gun certificates in 2003, a decrease of 81 per cent compared with 14,617 renewals in 2002 ( see Introduction and Note 9), with 10 applications for renewal being refused.
  • In 2003, 1,016 shotgun certificates were cancelled, , a decrease of 77 per cent compared with 4,492 cancellations in 2002 ( see Introduction and Note 9), whilst 78 were revoked.
  • Strathclyde (9,972), Grampian (9,439) and Northern (9,183) police force areas jointly constituted more than half of all shot gun certificates on issue at the end of 2003.
  • The number of shot gun certificates on issue per head of population was highest in Northern police force area (3,333 per 100,000 population) and lowest in Strathclyde (452 per 100,000 population).
  • The 52,421 shot gun certificates on issue covered the possession of 125,395 shot guns (2.3 per cent increase on 2002). The average number of shot guns possessed for each certificate has remained at 2.4 for 2002.

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3.3 Firearm Dealers

  • There were 284 registered firearm dealers in Scotland in 2003.
  • In 2003, 29 dealers had their request for renewal of their registration granted, with 16 new dealer registrations granted. There was one refusal for new registration amongst dealers, whilst 16 registrations were cancelled.

3.4 Visitors' Permits

  • The number of applications for Visitors' Permits from both EC and non-EC residents in 2003 totalled 2,585 for firearms (down from 2,831 in 2002) and 5,111 for shot guns (up from 4,956 in 2002).

3.5 European Firearm Passes

  • The number of European Firearm Passes on issue at the end of 2003 was 709, compared to 618 in 2002.
4. Appendix of tables

Firearm certificates
Table 1 Firearm certificates: New applications (granted and refused) and certificates on issue at 31 December, 1994-2003
Table 2 Firearm certificates: Applications for new and renewals (granted and refused); variations, cancellations, revocations and certificates on issue at 31 December by police force area, 2003
Table 2A Firearm certificates: Number of cancellations, revocations and certificates on issue at 31 December, 1994-2003
Table 3 Firearm certificates: Number of firearms possessed on certificate and firearms authorised to be purchased or acquired on certificate in force at the end of the year by type of weapon, 2003
Shot gun certificates
Table 4 Shot gun certificates: New applications (granted and refused) and certificates on issue at 31 December, 1994-2003
Table 5 Shot gun certificates: Applications for new and renewals (granted and refused); cancellations, revocations and certificates on issue at 31 December by police force area, 2003
Table 5A Shot gun certificates: Number of cancellations, revocations and certificates on issue at 31 December, 1994-2003
Firearm dealers
Table 6 Firearms dealers: New applications for registration (of which granted and refused) and dealers registered at 31 December, 1994-2003
Table 7 Firearms dealers: New and renewal applications for registration from dealers (granted and refused); dealers registered at 31 December by police force area, 2003
Visitors' Permits
Table 8 Visitors' Permits: Number of applications from EC and non-EC residents by police force area, 2003
European Firearm Passes
Table 9 European Firearm Passes: Applications for new and renewals; variations, cancellations and passes on issue at 31 December by police force area, 2003
Article 7 Authorities
Table 10 Number of applications (granted) by certificate and non-certificate holders and for possession outside UK, 1994-2003