Publication - Statistics

Firearm Certificate Statistics, Scotland, 2012

Published: 29 May 2013
Part of:
Statistics
ISBN:
9781782565994

Firearm Certificate Statistics, Scotland, 2012

32 page PDF

262.1 kB

Contents
Firearm Certificate Statistics, Scotland, 2012
3. Commentary

3. Commentary

It should be noted that amendments to firearm regulations in January 1995 increased the validity period of firearm and shotgun certificates from three to five years. This effectively meant that there were no certificate renewals in either 1998 or 1999 and this in turn has had a cyclical effect of increasing the number of certificate renewals, cancellations and certificates on issue in certain years, whilst reducing the number in the intervening years.

The statistics on firearm certificates are used to inform National Outcome 9 - 'we live our lives safe from crime, disorder and danger' as well as The Strategy for Justice in Scotland. These statistics are also used by a wide range of stakeholders to monitor trends, for policy research and development, and for research purposes.

3.1 Firearm Certificates (Tables 1, 2, 3 and 4, and Charts 1, 2, 3 and 6)

  • There were 25,702 firearm certificates on issue at the end of 2012, a decrease of less than 1% from 2011, and the lowest number of firearm certificates on issue over the last ten years.
  • The number of firearms held on certificate increased by less than 1%, from 71,860 in 2011 to 72,005 in 2012. For further information on the number of weapons possessed on firearm or shotgun certificates, please see Notes 4.2.9 and 4.2.10. This is the highest number of firearms held on certificate over the ten years covered by this bulletin and is 19% higher than the 60,440 held on certificate in 2003.

Chart 2: Number of firearm certificates on issue and number of firearms held on certificate in Scotland as at 31 December, 2003 to 2012

Chart 2: Number of firearm certificates on issue and number of firearms held on certificate in Scotland as at 31 December, 2003 to 2012

  • Although the number of firearm certificates on issue are at their lowest level in ten years, the figures have remained relatively stable over the period with an overall slight decreasing trend since 2003. In contrast, the number of firearms held on certificate has shown an increasing trend, resulting in the average number of firearms held on each certificate rising from 2.3 in 2003 to 2.8 in 2012.
  • In 2012, there were 1,149 applications for a new firearm certificate, an increase of 1% on the 1,141 applications in 2011. Of the total number of applications for a new firearm certificate in 2012, 1,137 were granted with 12 applications, 1% of total applications, being refused.
  • In 2012, there were 6,250 applications for the renewal of a firearm certificate, with only five of those applications being refused.
  • There were 1,227 firearm certificates cancelled and 20 certificates revoked in 2012, compared to 1,279 cancellations and 32 revocations in 2011. The number of cancellations and revocations outnumbered the new applications granted by 110, thus contributing to a reduction in the overall number of firearm certificates on issue for the fourth consecutive year.

Chart 3: New firearm certificate applications (granted), cancellations and revocations in Scotland during the year ending 31 December, 2003 to 2012

Chart 3: New firearm certificate applications (granted), cancellations and revocations in Scotland during the year ending 31 December, 2003 to 2012

  • Over a quarter of all firearm certificates on issue at the end of 2012 were issued by Northern Constabulary, 6,699 out of the total of 25,702 certificates. Grampian Police issued the second highest number of firearm certificates, with 4,466 certificates. These two forces were followed by Strathclyde Police and Lothian and Borders Police, where there were 3,773 and 3,634 certificates on issue at the end of 2012, respectively.
  • In 2012, the number of firearm certificates on issue per head of population was highest in Northern Constabulary, 2,301 per 100,000 population, and lowest in Strathclyde Police, 169 per 100,000 population. This is not unexpected given that those police forces with the higher number of firearm certificates on issue per head of population police the more rural areas of Scotland, where populations are lower and employment and recreational activities may require the use of firearms.
  • The 25,702 firearm certificates on issue as at 31 December 2012, covered the possession of 72,005 firearms. In addition, the certificates on issue authorised a further 9,467 firearms to be purchased or acquired. For further information please see Note 4.2.10.
  • Of the 53,177 firearms held on certificate where it was possible to distinguish the weapon type, 82% were rifles. For further information on why it is not possible to distinguish the weapon type in all cases, please see Note 4.2.6.

3.2 Shotgun Certificates (Tables 5, 6 and 7, and Charts 1, 4, 5 and 6)

  • There were 48,168 shotgun certificates on issue at the end of 2012, a decrease of 1% from 2011 and the lowest number on issue in the ten year period cover by this bulletin.
  • The 48,168 shotgun certificates on issue at the end of 2012 covered the possession of 141,569 shotguns. This is an increase of 2% from the 138,939 shotguns held on certificate at the end of 2011 and the highest number over the last ten years.

Chart 4: Number of shotgun certificates on issue and number of shotguns held on certificate in Scotland as at 31 December, 2003 to 2012

Chart 4: Number of shotgun certificates on issue and number of shotguns held on certificate in Scotland as at 31 December, 2003 to 2012

  • The average number of shotguns held on each certificate issued has increased from 2.4 in 2003 to 2.9 in 2012.
  • In 2012, there were 1,926 applications for a new shotgun certificate, of which 1,888 were granted and 38 were refused, 2% of the total number of new applications.
  • There were 11,589 applications for a renewal of a shotgun certificate in 2012, with only six of those applications being refused.
  • In 2012, a total of 2,406 shotgun certificates were cancelled, which accounted for almost 5% of all shotgun certificates from the previous year. There were 45 shotgun certificates revoked in 2012, a slight decrease on the 52 certificates revoked in 2011. The number of cancellations and revocations outnumbered the number of new applications granted by 563, thus contributing to a reduction in the number of shotgun certificates on issue for the third year in a row.

Chart 5: New shotgun certificate applications (granted), cancellations and revocations in Scotland during the year ending 31 December, 2003 to 2012

Chart 5: New shotgun certificate applications (granted), cancellations and revocations in Scotland during the year ending 31 December, 2003 to 2012

  • As at 31 December 2012, Strathclyde Police had the highest number of shotgun certificates on issue with 8,621. This was closely followed by the 8,586 shotgun certificates on issue from Grampian Police and the 8,454 on issue from Northern Constabulary.
  • However, per head of population, the number of shotgun certificates on issue was highest in Northern Constabulary, 2,904 per 100,000 population, and lowest in Strathclyde Police, 387 per 100,000 population. Again, this is not unexpected given that those police forces with the higher number of shotgun certificates on issue per head of population police the more rural areas of Scotland, where populations are lower and employment and recreational activities may require the use of shotguns.

Chart 6: Number of firearm and shotgun certificates on issue per 100,000 population1 by police force area, as at 31 December 2012

Chart 6: Number of firearm and shotgun certificates on issue per 100,000 population1 by police force area, as at 31 December 2012

1. Population estimates are as at mid-year 2011 from the National Records of Scotland. The mid-year 2012 population estimates are scheduled for publication in summer 2013.
(http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/statistics/theme/population/estimates/mid-year/index.html)

3.3 Firearm Dealers (Tables 8, 9 and 10)

  • There were 353 registered firearm dealers in Scotland at the end of 2012, an increase of 2% from the 346 registered dealers in 2011 and the highest number of registered dealers over the ten year period covered by this bulletin. The number of registered firearm dealers as at the 31 December 2011 has been revised since the publication of the Firearms Certificates Statistics, Scotland, 2011 bulletin. For further information, please see Note 4.2.7.
  • In 2012, there were 31 new applications granted for registration from firearm dealers, with 72 renewal of registration applications granted. There were no refusals for either new registration or renewal applications, although 24 registrations were cancelled.
  • The number of registered dealers per head of population was highest for Northern Constabulary, with 22 firearm dealers per 100,000 population, and was lowest for Lothian and Borders Police, where there were three firearm dealers per 100,000 population.

3.4 Visitor Permits (Tables 11a and 11b)

  • In 2012, a total of 2,021 firearm applications for a Visitor Permit were submitted by EC and non-EC residents, a 4% decrease on the 2,109 applications submitted in 2011.
  • In 2012, a total of 3,701 shotgun applications for a Visitor Permit were submitted by EC and non-EC residents. This is a 14% decrease on the 4,306 applications submitted in 2011.

3.5 European Firearms Passes (Tables 12a and 12b)

  • There were 1,237 European Firearms Passes (EFPs) on issue at the end of 2012, an increase of 9% on the 1,131 on issue at the end of 2011. The number of EFPs on issue as at 31 December 2011 has been revised since the publication of the Firearms Certificates Statistics, Scotland, 2011 bulletin, with the revised data given in Table 12a. For further information please see Note 4.2.5.
  • In 2012, a total of 175 new applications were issued for an EFP, with 154 renewals issued and 69 cancellations.
  • The number of EFPs on issue in 2012 was highest for Lothian and Borders Police, where there were 406 on issue, and was lowest for Fife Constabulary, where there were 39. Please note that the number of EFPs on issue in 2012 for Strathclyde Police is an undercount. For further information, please see Note 4.2.4.

3.6 Article 7 Authorities (Table 13)

  • There were no applications (granted) for Article 7 Authorities made by certificate holders or non-certificate holders in 2012. This is the third year in a row where there have been no applications (granted).

Contact

Email: Neil Henderson