JUSTICE SECRETARY Kenny MacAskill has demanded legislation over firearms, which is currently reserved to the Westminster Parliament, be devolved to Holyrood. The move comes after repeated calls by the SNP made on an almost annual basis to allow the Scottish Parliament to legislate over gun ownership in Scotland.
Leaks from Scottish Government insiders including references to frank discussions between civil servants & Ministers suggest the SNP administration are seeking to introduce much tougher restrictions on how many firearms a single person can own, along with complete bans on certain types of guns and weapons such as air guns, along with a possible ban on the ownership of high powered hunting rifles (Bambi breathes a sigh of relief – Ed).
Amid plans for a single all Scotland Police Force, a new Firearms Register is also being discussed along with the possible creation of a new body to oversee it’s enforcement along with tough sentences for violations.
The new legislation should make it impossible for a gerbil to be shot in a supermarket car park with a handgun, and also equally impossible for Police Officers to sell supposedly destroyed firearms onto gun dealers or retain them for their private unlicensed collections.
Scottish Government Press release issued today states :
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has today written to the Home Secretary Theresa May calling for firearms legislation to be fully devolved to the Scottish Parliament.
The letter follows the publication of statistics today which show a continuing rise in the number of legally owned firearms in Scotland.
The Scottish Government has repeatedly called for firearms legislation to be transferred to the Scottish Parliament where existing UK regulations could be tightened further.
Mr MacAskill said: "With recorded offences involving firearms in Scotland already at a 32-year low, today’s figures emphasise the importance of a robust licensing scheme. Each one of the firearms included in these statistics belongs to someone who has a legitimate reason for owning it.
"Thanks to the hard work of Scotland's police forces and responsible dealers, firearms owners are increasingly aware of their responsibilities. This is one of the ways in which we can help to prevent firearms from being used in criminal ways.
"There is more to be done, but firearms legislation currently remains reserved to Westminster. As we have repeatedly made clear, we believe that the law is long overdue for reform and we have been calling for the powers to regulate all firearms legislation in the Scottish Parliament. That will allow us to modernise and clarify the law, and so better protect our communities.
"I have today written to the Home Secretary Theresa May raising once again the need to tighten control over firearms."
Related Information Firearm Certificate Statistics, Scotland, 2011