Publication - Advice and guidance

Air weapon licensing in Scotland: guide

Published: 22 Feb 2019

Guidance published by Scottish Ministers on the practical application of the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015.

Air weapon licensing in Scotland: guide
8. Conditions

8. Conditions

Every air weapon certificate (AWC) granted or renewed (and every permit) will be subject to a number of mandatory conditions. In addition, the Chief Constable may decide to attach additional conditions relevant to the circumstances of the individual case. Conditions can be used for simple administrative purposes, such as a requirement to notify Police Scotland in certain circumstances, or to place restrictions on where, how or when a person might use their air weapons.

Adding such conditions to a certificate is in line with existing arrangements for firearms and shotguns under the 1968 Act.

Mandatory conditions

Under section 6(1) of the 2015 Act mandatory conditions will be applied to any air weapon certificate. Mandatory conditions will likewise be applied to each police permit and visitor permit under section 15(1) of the 2015 Act. The mandatory conditions relevant to each type of certificate or permit are set out in regulation 9 of and schedule 2 to the Air Weapons Licensing (Scotland) Regulations 2016, and appear on the relevant certificates or permits as prescribed in those Regulations. These are also shown at Appendix 5 to this Guide.

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Other conditions

The Chief Constable may also attach one or more additional condition(s) to the certificate (or permit). The use of such conditions will depend on the circumstances of the applicant and the use of the air weapon. They may, for example, place restrictions on the type of shooting which might be undertaken, or the land on which a person might shoot. A list of suggested conditions is set out at Appendix 5 to this Guide, but this list is not exhaustive.

An AWC holder has a right to appeal against any (non-mandatory) conditions attached, or any variation of the conditions attached to their certificate.

Young people

Any certificate issued to a person under the age of 18 years will also be subject to the special requirements and conditions set out at section 7 of the 2015 Act. In particular, the certificate must include the mandatory condition at section 7(4), which prohibits them from purchasing, hiring, accepting a gift of or owning an air weapon and, additionally, at least one other condition from section 7(5) of their 2015 Act relating to the proposed use of the air weapon such as target shooting, pest control etc.

The intention of section 7 of the 2015 Act is to better manage and control shooting by young persons, especially where they may be shooting unsupervised. The applicant must clearly indicate on their application the purpose(s) for which they wish to possess and use an air weapon, and the conditions attached to their certificate should reflect that. The young certificate holder may use the air weapon for one or more of the purposes listed at section 7(5) of the 2015 Act, but any or all such purposes must be stated at the time of application, and be clearly permitted according to the conditions on the certificate.

It is open to a young person to seek a variation to these conditions, for example by adding a further allowable purpose, at any stage during the life of the certificate.


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