Scotland’s Chief Statistician today published Firearm Certificate Statistics, Scotland, 2012. The bulletin presents statistics on the number of firearm and shotgun certificates on issue in Scotland at the end of 2012, along with the number of weapons held on certificate.
The main findings are:
There were 25,702 firearm certificates on issue at the end of 2012, a decrease of less than one per cent on the previous year, and the lowest number in the last 10 years.
The number of firearms held on certificate in 2012 was 72,005, an increase of less than one per cent from 2011. The average number of firearms held on each certificate issued has increased in the last 10 years from 2.3 in 2003 to 2.8 in 2012.
There were 48,168 shotgun certificates on issue at the end of 2012, a decrease of one per cent from 2011, and the lowest number in the last 10 years.
The number of shotguns held on certificate in 2012 was 141,569, an increase of two per cent since 2011. The average number of shotguns held on each certificate issued has increased in the last 10 years from 2.4 in 2003 to 2.9 in 2012.
There were 353 registered firearm dealers in Scotland at the end of 2012, an increase of two per cent from the 346 registered dealers in 2011.
1. The full statistical publication can be accessed here.
2. Amendments to firearm regulations in January 1995 increased the validity period of firearm and shotgun certificates from three to five years. This effectively meant that there were no certificate renewals in either 1998 or 1999 and this in turn has had a cyclical effect of increasing the number of certificate renewals, cancellations and certificates on issue in certain years, whilst reducing the number in the intervening years.
3. Since 1997, various changes have been made to firearms legislation to enhance public safety:
* Section 31 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 required businesses that sell air weapons to register with the police as firearm dealers. The section was brought into place in two stages: businesses were able to apply for registration from 6 April 2007 and the offence of not being registered came into effect on 1 October 2007.
* Under the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 and Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1997, all pistols - otherwise referred to as “handguns” - were banned. A number of types of handgun were exempted from the Act including muzzle-loading guns, shot pistols, slaughtering instruments, firearms used for the humane killing of animals, trophies of war etc.
4. Further information on Crime and Justice statistics within Scotland can be accessed here.
5. Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed here.
For an emailed copy of the publication, please contact Tommy Whigham at Tommy.Whigham@Scotland.gsi.gov.uk.
Media Contact: Holly Gilfether: 0131-244-2718