To help reduce air weapon misuse throughout Scotland, the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 has been introduced to bring in a licensing system that will help us to better protect Scottish communities.
This system of licensing will seek to ensure only owners who have good reason and do not pose a threat to public safety have access to air weapons.
From 31st December 2016, it will be an offence to use, possess, purchase or acquire an air weapon in Scotland without holding an air weapon certificate, though if you hold a valid firearm and/or shotgun certificate that was issued prior to 31st of December 2016, you will not need to apply for a separate air weapon certificate until your existing certificate expires. This allows you to use and possess air weapons but not acquire any further or purchase air weapons.
When your existing firearm or shotgun certificate is due for renewal, you can then apply for a new air weapon certificate at the same time. If you request your air weapon certificate to expire in line with one (co-terminus) or both of your existing certificates (tri-terminus), you will pay a fee of £5.
There are other exemptions however, these will be discussed within this site.
You can apply for an Air Weapon certificate by downloading application form (AWL1) from this site and sending it to the local processing centre below respective of the area you reside.
You can download the form at the Air Weapon Application Form page
In this section you can learn more about:
If you submitted an application before the 1st of November 2016, and Police Scotland have not determined your application by the 31st of December 2016 through no fault of your own, you are legally able to possess your air weapons until the final decision is made. This only allows you to POSSESS the air weapons, but NOT USE, BUY or ACQUIRE another air weapon.
If you submitted your application on or after the 1st of November, 2016, and Police Scotland have not determined your application by the 31st of December 2016, you will be required to take one of the following courses of action whilst you await your certificate/authorisation to be granted:
- Store their air weapon(s) with someone who has an Air Weapon Certificate.
- Store their air weapon(s) with someone who has a current Firearm or Shotgun Certificate.
- Store their air weapon(s) with a Registered Firearms Dealer.
Police Scotland do not have the capacity or facilities to store Air Weapons intended for licensing.
Your application will be progressed in chronological order in 2017.
The fee for an air weapon certificate is £72 for 5 years. Current firearm and shotgun certificate holders may apply for a co-terminus certificate at a cost of £5. A cheque payable to the ‘Scottish Police Authority’ for the appropriate fee, should be sent along with your application form.
Alternatively you may prefer to utilise online banking or bank transfer. In these circumstances you will be sent a payment letter with a payment reference number and the details of the bank account where payment should be made. It is vital that you use this reference number in order that your payment can be traced. Your application will not be processed until payment has been received hence it is important that you do so in a timely manner.
Please note if you completed the payment as per the instructions provided your payment will have been received into the Police Scotland bank account. Due to the volume of applications, we are unable to routinely confirm every single payment received. Should you have any concerns that the payment has not been made correctly as it has not been removed from your account, please contact your bank in the first instance.
In order to fully assess each application, it may be necessary to contact your GP for additional information in relation to any current or previous medical issues you have declared on your application if these are relevant. If this is the case you will receive a medical mandate to seek your permission. This should be completed, signed and returned to us ASAP in order that we can contact your GP to progress your application. Unless we receive this mandate your application will not be progressed. If you have already sent this to us, it may take some time for your GP to reply. Please contact your GP in relation to this.