NRA News commentator Colion Noir predicted the future when he imagined a world in which air rifles are highly regulated. Now the government of Scotland is requiring this very measure of its own citizens.

The Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill was passed last summer in spite of the fact data showed a 73% drop in Scottish airgun crime since 2006-2007.

BASC Scottish Committee chairman Alan Balfour commented: “It is bitterly disappointing that the Scottish Government has seen fit to bring in this new law in the face of all the evidence against it.”

From Shooting UK:

As BASC has repeatedly stated, the figures show that airgun crime is at its second lowest in the 10-year period between 2004-2014.

Overall, airgun offences account for just 0.06 per cent of crimes committed in Scotland. This is a 73 per cent reduction from the 2006-2007 period when offences peaked at 0.2 per cent of the total, which in itself was still a minor proportion of overall crime.

Furthermore, BASC director Scotland Dr Colin Shedden went on to say, “This new legislation will only affect and inconvenience law-abiding airgun shooters who will now have to apply for an air weapon certificate. Those intent on criminal activity will not come forward.”

“To put this in context, airguns account for just 11 out of 51,869 (0.02 per cent) crimes of vandalism, eight out of 1,499 (0.5 per cent) robberies and 182 out of 273,053 (0.06 per cent) crimes in Scotland. There are an estimated 500,000 airguns in Scotland — only a handful are used in criminal actions.”

When the bill goes into effect in April, it will be a legal requirement for users to get an airgun license for use in Scotland.