From the 1st of July 2016, Form AWL7 will be available from this website by which to apply for air weapon club approval.
An air weapon club can apply to the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Scotland for approval status. In order to achieve approval, each club will be required to meet certain criteria.
Police Scotland is waiting on specific guidance being provide by the Scottish Government. When this information is available, this will be communicated to the general public. Once approved, this approval lasts for a period of 6 years. This allows the member of the club, without holding an air weapon certificate, to use or possess an air weapon whilst engaged in target shooting at the club, another approved air weapon club, an event or a competition.
Members may not purchase or acquire air weapons unless they have been granted their own individual air weapon certificates.
I AM A MEMBER OF AN AIR WEAPON CLUB, DOES THIS CONFIRM MY GOOD REASON?
Yes, as long as you are attending and using your air weapon. Police may contact the club to confirm this information.
I AM IN A SCOUT GROUP AND WE USE AIR WEAPONS A LOT, HOW WILL THIS NEW LEGISLATION AFFECT OUR GROUP?
If you are using air weapons regularly within the group as part of the group’s activities, you would be best seeking approval as an air weapon club. This would allow ‘members’ (the scouts) to possess and use air weapons within the club without holding individual air weapon certificates as long as they are engaged as a member in target shooting at the club, another approved air weapon club, an event or competition, or in connection with such target shooting where they are under the age of 14, they are supervised by another club member aged 21 years or more.
At least one member of the club should hold an air weapon certificate and they would be responsible for ensuring safety aspects in reference to weapon handling is adhered to and that reasonable precautions are taken for the safe custody of all air weapons possessed.
I AM IN AN APPROVED RIFLE CLUB, DOES THAT COVER ME FOR SHOOTING AIR WEAPONS?
No. Being in a rifle club does not automatically grant approval for air weapons also. As an approved rifle club, you can apply for approval of air weapon status and this approval will fall in line with your approved rifle club expiry.
DOES MY AIR WEAPON CLUB NEED TO BE APPROVED?
If all members are legally able to possess and use air weapons, either by their own air weapon certificate or by the transitional arrangements in place for firearms and shotgun certificate holders, then no. If you have one member who isn’t, you will need to apply to become an approved air weapon club for that person to continue shooting.
WHY WOULD MY AIR WEAPON CLUB WANT TO BECOME APPROVED?
Members of an approved club can use air weapons at the club without requiring their own licence. This includes borrowing air weapons from licence holders at the club. Members can also use borrowed weapons at other venues – for example at a competition – as long as it’s part of the club’s activities.
I HAVE A FIREARM/SHOTGUN CERTIFICATE, HOW DOES THAT AFFECT ME SHOOTING AT A CLUB?
You can continue with your shooting until such times as your existing firearm or shotgun certificates expire. If your club is approved, you can continue shooting at the club past your expiry date as long as the shooting is undertaken purely as a club activity.
CAN I BORROW WEAPONS AT THE CLUB WITHOUT A CERTIFICATE?
Yes, as long as you only borrow air weapons at the club. This includes borrowing air weapons from certificate holders at the club. You can also use borrowed weapons at other venues – for example at a competition – as long as it is part of the club’s activities.
IF I AM IN AN APPROVED CLUB, CAN I STILL SHOOT ELSEWHERE?
If you are shooting in respect of your connection to your approved club, i.e. a competition, or invited to another club, you can shoot without an air weapon certificate.
If you own your own air weapons, or use them in activities which are not connected with club activities, even zeroing or practising elsewhere, you will need to have your own air weapon certificate.