Scottish Government seeks new firearms classification

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THE Scottish Government is seeking views on what types of weapons should be banned, but has put forward its own definition.

It suggests adopting a description from the case Moore v Gooderham 1960, which said: “If it is capable of causing more than trifling and trivial injury when misused then it is a weapon which is capable of causing injury from which death may occur.” Only a court could decide what would be classed as a “trifling injury”, it adds.

It goes on to suggest that “a lethal barrelled weapon of any description” would require a licence.

However, the legislation would not cover guns “sufficiently powerful to be deemed specially dangerous” as these are already included in the Firearms (Dangerous Air Weapons) (Scotland) Rules 1969.

The consultation suggests an air pistol would produce a kinetic energy of between 0.7 foot pounds (1 joule) and 6ft/lbs, with more powerful air weapons classed as 12ft/lbs.

Anything less powerful would “lack the capability to cause more than a trivial injury and should not therefore be classified as a firearm”, the consultation says.

The Scottish Government does not intend to include very low-powered air weapons, BB guns or paintball or Airsoft guns under the new laws, as they are “unlikely to prove lethal or pose any significant threat”.