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Queries About Scottish Air Weapon Certificate

Discussion in 'Anything Airgun Related' started by jdbennet2016, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. jdbennet2016

    jdbennet2016 Newbie

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    I am interested in getting into the hobby of air rifle shooting, and want to know more about the process of applying for an Air Weapon Certificate in Scotland. I do not currently hold any shotgun or firearms certificate, so know nothing about this sort of thing.

    So, what I would like to know is the experiences of anyone from Scotland, specifically:
    • How long does it take
    • Are they any extra costs?
    • Do they routinely contact your GP or only if you put something down?
    • ^ Likewise with home visits
    • What do you need to do for security? - Do you need a dedicated cabinet mounted to the building, or is something like a lockable cupboard in a unit acceptable? (no children)
    • What reasons and land should you put? i am interested in plinking/target shooting.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Stevie Darling

    Stevie Darling Sexual tyrannosaurus

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  3. jdbennet2016

    jdbennet2016 Newbie

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    Thanks! - I read over the accompanying notes already but found them rather vague, on the costs, and security requirements in particular, hence wanting real experiences.

    For example, after I sign the medical mandate, can I expect my GP to also want some cash to write the fit note? And on the safety/security, it says one should take reasonable precautions to prevent people (especially a person under 18) from gaining unauthorised access, but isn't too specific as to what counts as sufficiently reasonable.
     
  4. Recoil

    Recoil Busy Member

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    Hello and welcome to the forum!

    You mention GP involvement, and it's important to note that if you have been treated for depression (or other mental illness) you must put this on your application form. The police will only contact your GP at the time of application (if they deem it necessary) and once you've been granted a licence, that's it. Home visits only apply to people applying for a FAC (and possibly SGC).

    There are currently no laws that strictly govern the storage of air weapons, but it's good practice to get a cabinet or a lockable cupboard for your rifle - it will keep your weapon safe and keep the police happy.

    Cost-wise it's a one-off charge of £72, and if your GP is involved it may be significantly higher. I was charged £15 by my local surgery for the GP response.

    As for reasons for shooting, it would go in your favour to put down as many as possible. The two best reasons are plinking in your own back garden, and target shooting at a local airgun club.

    Finally, time scale can vary. It took two months for the police to make a decision on my application, and unfortunately it was a refusal. I'll be applying again early next year.
     
  5. Deleted member 954

    Deleted member 954 Pro Poster

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    Move to England, it's simply not worth the hassle. Scotland is in the grip of liberal madness.
     
  6. Deleted member 54697

    Deleted member 54697 Very Active

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    At least in Scotland they now know what they have to do to own such dangerous airguns.......we are still waiting for the idiots in charge to decide what to do about all the potential mass murderers with air rifles ;)
     
    Deleted member 954 likes this.
  7. David M

    David M Donator

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    When I applied last year, it took 2 months to come through, but I stated I lived in the woods where grey squirrels needed controlling and had been a pest controller in England for years on different farms. I think if you don't have a criminal record or history of mental illness, they'll take your money gladly. I read somewhere that all air weapons had to be stored behind a locked door of some kind. They were happy that mine would be in a star key locked cupboard, not a dedicated gun cabinet.

    I'm not sure only stating 'garden plinking' is a valid enough reason to be issued a certificate. A police firearms officer told me to put 'pest control' and/or the name of a current airgun club I belonged to. He actually dismissed airguns as back garden toys and tried to get me to apply for an FAC or SGC for a better use of my money..! He said airgun licencing was pointless and a waste of time.
     
  8. PlinknHunt

    PlinknHunt Engaging Member

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    Apparently just putting "back garden plinking/target shooting" isn't a "good reason" you need to either join an air gun club or have an already approved hunting permission/land to pest control on yourself.
     
  9. jdbennet2016

    jdbennet2016 Newbie

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    Thanks for all the replies, guys. I agree that the process up here seems like a total hassle for a complete newbie like me who hasn't done any shooting in ~15 years since the Cadets!

    I've never been treated for any mental health issue, or anything else relevant, so I guess the GP part should be easy then, as they probably won't contact them.

    Good to hear they probably won't visit, to, and that you probably don't need a specialist cabinet. I have just a lockable cupboard in the sideboard, which should hopefully fir the bill, and I can state on the application that I would use trigger locks and keep the pellets in a separate cupboard, I guess.

    As to the reason for use, I have contacted a local-ish club (jgarc.co.uk) who have their own range, and am waiting to hear back - I don't have much land / pest control needs, and wouldn't be shooting in my garden anyway as its shared and exposed (block of 4 in a council estate, so a long thin overlooked strip out the back with a wire fence). So, if i get probationary status with the club, then hopefully I can put their address and get approved for plinking/target shooting.

    Any tips for the personal statement part at the end?

    Fingers crossed the club get back to me.
     
    David M likes this.
  10. Spray1Mark

    Spray1Mark I see light at the end of the tunnel!

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    Don't move to England, move to America!
     
    Douglas Soal, Bagster66, Rm29 and 2 others like this.
  11. Crash one

    Crash one Posting Addict

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    I just put target shooting and pest control, licence received in two months.
    Whether the police checked the address with google mapping I wouldn’t know. I didn’t tell them I had two acres to shoot in.
     
  12. Deleted member 954

    Deleted member 954 Pro Poster

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    Good point!!!
     
  13. Underlever-lover

    Underlever-lover Engaging Member

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    Join a club, try to get some 'permissions' beforehand, declare everything in the form (if you lie they will find out) because they'll go to your GP, potentially your Occ Health dept at work etc...and then you look dishonest and therefore no license.

    That's the way it worked for me getting my Shotgun cert in Wales anyway...in England they pretty much just gave me one but I let it lapse during our house move and in the meantime was diagnosed with a heart condition in my late 30, got promoted and suffered stress and due to the amount of time off work due to the ticker I was then under huge financial strain too...unsurprisingly I came close to having a breakdown...at the same time some tragic paediatric cases I'd dealt with early in my career chose that moment to come back to the forefront of my thoughts and I was tentatively given a diagnosis of PTSD...work were helpful and laid on intense counselling for me...we remortgaged and over borrowed to clear debts and I started air gun shooting as a pastime as I couldn't exercise physically as I had before...

    ....not a great candidate for a FAC eh?!...but it's the way I'd shown the fire arms dept of Dyfed Powys police that I'd sorted the problems (settled into my promotion at work, remortgage for debt, counselling for PTSD and started shooting anyway, albeit with air guns and got some local permissions which demonstrates that other people trust you on their property with a gun)...this all contributed positively, ultimately I had to have a face to face with the police officer who controls the fire arms officers...this is incredibly rare but she wanted to meet me, I went prepared with letters from GP, my Cardiologist, Occ Health at work and some additional character references (they had all this anyway, they're not stupid)...I can't stress this part enough, demonstrate YOU have control over your life (not the burden of debt, not a mental illness etc) and do your homework...ultimately with shotguns (and I assume air rifles in Scotland) they have to come up with a good reason not to issue one, whereas with FAC rifles it's the other way round...the default position is you're not having one unless you can demonstrate good reasons why you need one.

    Anyway, I'm rambling about shotguns and you asked about air guns but I hope some of my own long drawn out experiences in the process of re acquiring a shogun cert help in some way.
     
    Douglas Soal likes this.
  14. Spray1Mark

    Spray1Mark I see light at the end of the tunnel!

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    Considering the size of the average UK garden I would say 2 acres is a huge amount!

    Just remember, 20,000 acres is of no use if it is littered with footpaths and public rights of way!
     
  15. Crash one

    Crash one Posting Addict

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    No footpaths or rights of way, a deep ditch down three sides and a deep railway cutting down the other, I can’t hear, let alone see the trains and it would take a squad of mountain troops to get in apart from driving through my gate. Nearest neighbour is two kilometres away across farmland through trees and thick bushes. It takes a very careful shot to miss everything and go next door! About the only thing I could do is blast a hole through a six foot double planked fence into the road.
    I feel sorry for folk with a postage stamp lawn and nosey neighbours.
     
    Rm29 and Deleted member 54697 like this.
  16. jdbennet2016

    jdbennet2016 Newbie

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    I have been in touch with a local club and they say they will run an induction weekend after the new year, thanks guys.
     
  17. David M

    David M Donator

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    In the final statement bit, I stated my Country Cover insurance number if tney wanted to check it (insurance shows a bit more responsibility), plus the name and number of one of the farmers I shot for. For reasons of use I remember now that I included target shooting as well as pest control.

    It may pay you to ask at the desk of your local police station. Their fire arms officer will tell you what to put, as mine did. You may be surprised at their attitude towards having to apply..!

    Good luck, don't join the club unless you really want to though, you may not need to..
     
  18. Clive Black

    Clive Black Member

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    Hi I applied for mine in August last year and it arrived in October.
    You should apply and chase them after a few weeks.
    There can be extra costs as it is £75 for 5 years but it may be a condition that you have insurance.
    This can be set up with sacs and costs £34 per year
    They don’t normally contact your GP unless you put something on your form.
    They don’t normally do home visits but reserve the right.
    A lockable cabinet is Ok but I bought a gun safe £90 off EBay.
    Reasons should be target practice, competition shooting and Pest /vermin control.
    PLINKING is not acceptable.
    The process is a lot smoother if you join an approved club.
    Hope this helps
     
  19. JoeHeugh

    JoeHeugh Beware the Springer

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    This from the Guide to Air Weapon Licensing in Scotland might help:

    Whether the shooting takes place on open land, such as a farm or in
    woodland, or in a residential garden it is the applicant’s responsibility to
    ensure that appropriate measures are in place to protect people and animals
    from harm. The applicant should therefore, at Part B of application form
    AWL1, provide sufficient detail about the arrangements in place to provide
    assurance to the Chief Constable that shooting may be undertaken safely.
    This may, for example, include details of precautions taken such as the
    erection of backstops or other measures to prevent or contain ricochets or
    missed shots.
    “Plinking” is a term often used by those who use air weapons and refers to
    informal target shooting undertaken at standard or non-standard targets, such
    as cans and bottles, often in built-up areas. As above, where shooting is
    undertaken in a confined space, such as a domestic garden, it is incumbent
    on the shooter to consider if this can be done safely, and to provide evidence
    of this in support of their application. Shooting in areas to which the public
    have unrestricted access, such as communal gardens or similar areas is not
    acceptable.
     
  20. 80yarder

    80yarder Busy Member

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    Don't ask for "plinking", in fact I wish we could drop the word completely, do what you should always do when filling in official forms and pick up their own words. Ask for "informal target shooting on suitable land where I have permission to shoot" - that's what I did and got it no problem, even though I told them I didn't have any permissions at the moment. Sounds mighty like plinking to me.....

    Alan
     
    talyllyn likes this.

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