Together with the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (Scotland), the Gun Trade Association, the Scottish Association for Country Sports, the Scottish Gamekeeper's Association and Scottish Target Shooting, the Scottish Countryside Alliance have released a joint statement today, Wednesday 25th March, on firearms licencing in Scotland.
Police Scotland, like all police services in the United Kingdom, are facing unprecedented demands at a time of national crisis in dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We, the principal membership shooting organisations of the Scottish Firearms Licencing Practitioners Group, recognise the difficulties faced by Police Scotland and their staff and fully understand that it cannot be business as usual given the unique circumstances we are all facing. We do not live in normal times.
Police Scotland are suspending the processing of most applications for grants of either firearm, shotgun or air weapon certificates and applications for variations or visitor permits. We are aware that at this time applications for visitor permits have reduced dramatically in view of travel restrictions and given the current operating restrictions in non-essential retail premises, it is likely that demand for variations will also be small so the impact of this on these services should be minimal. You can read the full statement here.
During these uncertain times, we understand that pressures can increase in respect of employment concerns and also anxiety in relation to health. The members of the Scottish Firearms Licencing Practitioners Group, including Police Scotland and Scottish Government, have been working on a leaflet explaining why it's important to say if you're not okay, recognising the challenges of poor mental health and provide some advice about what help is available to certificate holders (as well as their friends and families) should they have concerns. It also explains the police position in respect of such matters. You can view the leaflet here.