NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Thousands of air weapons handed in across Scotland

Weapons Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption More than 500 air rifles have been handed in to police in the north east

More than 4,000 air weapons have been handed in ahead of the introduction new Scottish licensing laws.

The highest amount so far was in Police Scotland's North East division, where 530 have been handed in.

Under the new laws it will be a criminal offence to have an air weapon without a licence or permit from 31 December.

Anyone found guilty of the new offence could be fined or face up to two years in prison.

The three-week amnesty is from 23 May to 12 June.

The legislation was passed by MSPs in June 2015.

The Scottish government pledged to introduce the licensing scheme following the death of Glasgow toddler Andrew Morton, who was shot dead by an airgun in 2005.

Ch Insp Richard Craig, who is leading the air weapon campaign in the north east, said : "The surrender campaign has only been active for less than two weeks however it is very encouraging that so many air weapons have been handed in here in the north east already.

"Every one of these weapons has the potential to cause serious injury or death, in particular to children or young people if handled incorrectly.

"There will be many lying around in homes across the north east unused and this is a great opportunity to get rid of them."

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