Unwanted air weapons should be surrendered at police stations across Scotland from Monday as new licensing legislation comes into effect.
That’s the message from Police Scotland at the start of a three week surrender campaign which runs from Monday 23 May to Sunday 12 June 2016.
New rules will make it illegal for anyone to possess an air weapon without a licence under the Air Weapon and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015, which comes into force from 31 December 2016. However. Prior to this date, anyone holding an air weapon has six months to either obtain a certificate or to surrender their weapon. Over the three week surrender campaign a total of 72 police stations - from Lerwick to Stranraer - have been designated as locations where air weapons can be handed in if owners do not wish to apply for a licence.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams, of Police Scotland, said: “Protecting the public sits at the heart of everything we do and Police Scotland fully supports the new legislation and the more robust licensing arrangements that will be introduced. I would urge members of the public who own air weapons but don’t intend licensing them to take advantage of our surrender campaign.
There will be 72 stations across Scotland where you can safely surrender your unwanted air weapons to trained staff. Take a moment or two to look out old or unwanted weapons and follow the advice on our website regarding how to safely transport them and where to take them. Getting rid of these unwanted air weapons will make our streets safer. Remember if you keep air weapons and don’t have a license you will be committing a criminal offence.”
A number of police officers across Dumfries and Galloway have been provided with specialist training to support the safe surrender process and to assist in the management of demand during the period of the campaign and beyond. Station which will be open to take in surrendered air weapons in the region include, Stranraer, Newton Stewart, Castle Douglas, Loreburn Street in Dumfries and Cornwall Mount in Dumfries, Annan and Lockerbie.
Sergeant Neil MacPherson, Firearms Licensing Manager for Dumfries and Galloway said “
Residents in Dumfries and Galloway will be able to surrender unwanted air weapons at designated Police stations in the region between Monday 23rd May and Sunday 12th June 2016, where specially trained officers will be on hand to accept and make safe surrendered air weapons. However, to ensure the safety of all concerned, I would ask that anyone who is surrendering an air weapon to please ensure that they check that the weapon is safe and unloaded prior to travelling to the Police station. Weapons should also be carried and presented at the police station in a ‘ broken’ or open state where possible, to help demonstrate that they are safe.
To find out where your nearest designated station is, and the hours of operation, please go to www.scotland.police.uk/airweaponsurrender. There you can also get helpful advice on how to safely transport the weapons.