With a deadline looming in Scotland to register airguns and obtain a license to keep them, some owners are turning them in at police stations across the land.
The new Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act is set to come into effect at the end of the year and officials are urging anyone who currently has one in their possession to make plans to get a license for £79.50 (about $115) following an investigation and background check to allow them to register the dreaded devices that have been the weapon of choice in fatal cat shootings in the Isles.
Of course, some 87 percent of those who responded to the proposed legislation in 2013 felt it was “not needed or is not likely to be effective,” but that did not stop lawmakers seeking to save lives.
For those who don’t want the hassle of maintaining a regular license and listing their favorite BB gun with the Crown, the police have an Air Weapon Surrender Scheme set to run through June 12 where one may pop by and turn their death-dealing pellet rifle or pistol in at any one of 72 handy police stations.
The Daily Record reports that the campaign, which began last week, has resulted in some 2,301 air weapons turned in so far, though it is estimated there could be 500,000 airguns in the region.
“I would encourage anybody with an air weapon to stay on the right side of the law by handing them in during the surrender process or, if they wish to keep them, making sure they apply from 1 July 2016 for the right to own an air weapon,” said Justice Secretary Michael Matheson.
The penalty for being caught with an unregistered air weapon in Scotland after the end of the year will be up to two years in prison.
Don’t worry about Airsoft guns though, their use is already controlled by the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 which required all with a muzzle energy above 2.5 joules (or 1.3 for fully automatic guns) to be registered.
Somewhere in New York someone is pointing to Scotland right now and yelling, “SEE!” into the night.