6 April 2016 – Figures passed to UK Shooting News reveal that 58 people were found guilty of airgun offences in Scotland in the year 2014-15.
The figures, obtained by a constituent from an SNP member of the Scottish parliament, also reveal the full number of airgun offences committed by those eight people in Scotland over that period.
It was 58. Seven of the recorded offences were contrary to section 21, which bans the possession of firearms and airguns by those previously convicted of a criminal offence.
Of the remaining 51 offences, 19 were charges brought under section 19 of the Firearms Act 1968, which makes it a crime to carry a loaded shotgun, or any firearm or airgun, in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse.
One was contrary to section 21A, which makes it a crime to fire a missile beyond the boundaries of the land you have permission to shoot over, while another was contrary to section 22, which creates various possession-related criminal offences for U18s.
The figures reveal that airgun crime in Scotland is vanishingly low and existing laws appear more than adequate to tackle any perceived problem – just 0.0001% of Scotland’s population committed an airgun crime last year – judging by the breadth of offences set out in the table below.
Update: This story originally said just 8 people were convicted of airgun offences, citing an email from an SNP researcher which had the table above attached to it. It has now been confirmed to UKSN that this was a typographical error by the SNP and the true figure actually is 58.