Opinion Former Article

BASC Scotland welcomes record low in firearms offences

Newly released figures showing that firearms offences in Scotland are at their lowest level since records began in 1980 have been welcomed by the UK's largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).

BASC Scotland director Dr Colin Shedden said the figures published by the Scottish Government showed there were 348 offences in which a firearm was alleged to have been used in 2017-18 compared to the peak of 1,933 in 1992.

Dr Shedden said: “Shooting sports continue to grow in popularity in Scotland and, despite this, we have now seen a record low in alleged offences.

“We have always maintained that the shooting community is one of the most law-abiding sectors in society and this report, especially when looked at in detail, bears this out. 

"For example, alleged offences involving shotguns and rifles were lower than those involving banned pistols and revolvers. 

"While the numbers of alleged offences involving air weapons had shown a small increase from 2016-17 to 2017-18, from 119 to 127, this was hardly surprising given the implementation of the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 on the 1st January 2017. 

“This legislation introduced a number of new offences and inevitably this small increase in alleged offences reflects this, alongside the reported miscellaneous offences.”

BASC vice chairman Eoghan Cameron said: “These figures clearly confirm that firearms offences continue to decline in Scotland and that this is due to both the high standards set by all who shoot in Scotland and the diligence of Police Scotland when it comes to firearms licensing. 

"The figures also show that the residual problems of firearms offences are not to be found in rural Scotland, where firearms ownership is proportionately higher than in more populated areas. 

"For example, the figures showed there were 13 alleged offences in Dumfries and Galloway and the Highlands, compared to 127 in Glasgow and Lanarkshire.”

ENDS

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