18 Jan 2016 – Figures obtained by a political party show that 77 Scottish firearm and shotgun certificates were revoked in the last year, amid the refusal of Police Scotland to properly resource its firearms licensing department.
According to the Herald Scotland newspaper, about one certificate per week was revoked between November 2014 and December last year – which confuses UK Shooting News, because that period would be 56 weeks and not 77.
Nonetheless, a Scottish Liberal Democrat party spokesman made a good point when she said: “The restructuring of Police Scotland’s national firearms licensing unit has led to a halving of the number of permanent civilian experts responsible for the licensing of firearms and explosives. The new regime must allow for the suitability of both new applicants and those who already hold gun licences to be properly interrogated.”
“The national force and Scottish Police Authority,” continued the spokesman, “must ensure the staff and officers involved in granting and revoking licences have all the resources they need to carry out their roles properly to reassure the public that controls around the possession of firearms are effective.”
Police Scotland responded by claiming that new firearms licensing structures were now fully operational, with an assistant chief constable, Mark Williams, stating that the system is “fit for purpose”.
Airgun licensing is due to come into force this year in Scotland, which numerous sources have warned will cause the collapse of the licensing system north of the border.
It is hard not to conclude that Scotland’s ruling National Socialist party is deliberately trying to run the firearms licensing system into the floor by deliberately starving it of staff and funds. Why politicians and senior police employees would collude in such a dangerous and stupid policy is entirely beyond UKSN’s ken.