Statistical Bulletin: Crime and Justice Series: Firearm Certificate Statistics, Scotland, 2010

This bulletin was published in May 2011.

“This bulletin is part of a series of bulletins produced by the Scottish Government on the criminal justice system. It presents information for the years 2001 to 2010 on the issue of firearm and shotgun certificates under the Firearms Act 1968 (as amended). A related publication provides statistics on the number of crimes and offences involving the alleged use of a firearm. This National Statistics bulletin Recorded Crimes and Offences Involving Firearms, Scotland, 2009-10“, was last published in October 2010.

Main Points

  • There were 26,035 firearm certificates on issue at the end of 2010, a decrease of 0.1 per cent on the previous year, and five per cent lower than the number in 2001. ( Table 1 and Chart 1)
  • The 26,035 firearm certificates on issue at the end of 2010 covered the possession of 70,410 firearms. There was a one per cent decrease in the number of firearms held on certificate in 2010 compared to 2009. This is the first recorded decrease in the number of firearms held on certificate since 2003. The average number of firearms possessed for each certificate issued has increased from 2.2 in 2001 to 2.7 in 2010. ( Table 1)
  • In 2010, 1,152 new firearm certificate applications were submitted, of which 1,135 (99 per cent) were granted. There were 5,701 applications for renewal, of which all but two applications were granted. ( Table 2)
  • There were 1,112 firearm certificates cancelled and 38 firearm certificates revoked in 2010. ( Table 2 and Table 2A)
  • Of the 53,663 firearms possessed on certificate where it was possible to distinguish the weapon type, the majority (83 per cent) were rifles. ( Table 3)
  • There were 49,449 shotgun certificates on issue at the end of 2010, a decrease of two per cent from 2009 and 9 per cent lower than at the end of 2001. ( Table 4)
  • The 49,449 shotgun certificates on issue at the end of 2010 covered the possession of 135,987 shotguns. There was a decrease in possession of one per cent compared to 2009, but an increase of 12 per cent since the end of 2001. In 2010, the average number of shotguns possessed for each certificate issued was 2.8, up from 2.2 in 2001. ( Table 4)
  • The number of applications for a new shotgun certificate was 1,772 in 2010, five per cent higher than in 2009. Of these applications, 98 per cent (1,735) were granted. There were 11,425 applications for the renewal of a shotgun certificate, nine of which were refused. ( Table 4 and Table 5)
  • In 2010, there were 2,519 shotgun certificates cancelled and 71 certificates revoked. ( Table 5 and Table 5A)
  • The number of both firearm and shotgun certificates on issue per head of population, was highest in Northern Constabulary and lowest in Strathclyde police force. ( Table 2, Table 5 and Chart 4)
  • There were 337 registered firearm dealers in Scotland at the end of 2010, an increase of less than one per cent from the 335 registered dealers recorded in 2009. No new applications were refused in 2010. ( Table 6)
  • The number of registered dealers per head of population was highest in Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary (21 dealers per 100,000 population) and lowest in Lothian & Borders police force (3 per 100,000 population). ( Table 7)
  • The number of Visitor Permit applications from both EC and non- EC residents in 2010 totalled 2,298 for firearms, a decrease of four per cent on the previous year; and 4,367 for shotguns, an increase of six per cent from 2009. ( Table 8)
  • The number of European Firearm Passes on issue increased by seven per cent, rising from 1,275 in 2009 to 1,363 at the end of 2010. ( Table 9)”
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