New measures which introduce a licensing regime for air weapons and make changes to the alcohol licensing regime are to be scrutinised by the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Regeneration Committee.
The Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill is a wide-ranging Bill which introduces a new licensing regime for the operation of sexual entertainment venues. It also amends the existing licensing regimes in relation to taxis and private hire cars, scrap metal dealerships and public entertainment venues.
The Committee has today launched a call for evidence seeking the views of all of those with an interest in the Bill. The Committee will then begin to hear oral evidence later in the year.
Committee Convener Kevin Stewart MSP said:
“We are aware there is considerable interest from both sides of the debate on the licensing of air weapons as well as the other aspects of this Bill. We are seeking information and views to inform our work in scrutinising these proposals.
“This Bill will affect every person in Scotland. It is a broad Bill that seeks to amend the existing licensing arrangements in many areas, not least alcohol, taxis and private hire cars and public entertainment venues.
“Our Committee wants to hear how these changes will improve lives. We also want to understand what these changes will mean in practice for you as an individual, or a business.”
The Committee is keen to get information on all aspects of the Bill including:
- In what ways will the creation of an air weapons licensing system in Scotland contribute to preserving public order and safety, reducing crime and advancing public health policy?
- Is there sufficient provision, or sufficient capacity to provide, suitable numbers of air weapons clubs across all areas of Scotland for use by registered air weapons owners/users?
- How will the air weapons licensing system affect those using air weapons for personal/recreational reasons?
- In what ways will the provisions on alcohol licensing allow for reductions in crime and the preservation of public order?
- Is there any other measures which should be taken to assist in this regard?
- What ways will the provisions in the bill enhance the licensing objectives as set out in the 2005 Act?
- Have there been any unintended consequences arising from the 2005 Act, for example impacts on rural areas, or the economic regeneration of areas?
- Which, if any, types of spent relevant offences should require to be disclosed and what do you think the benefits of disclosure will be?
Taxi and Private Hire Vehicles
- What benefits should the licensing of taxis and private hire cars deliver for customers?
- In what ways do customers, providers of taxi/private hire car services and local authorities benefit from the two-tier licensing regime for taxis and private hire cars?
- The Government states a radical overhaul of the current two-tier licensing regime would “clearly require a very high level of resource and would cause significant disruption for the trade, local authorities, the police and ultimately the travelling public”. What are your views on this and would the potential costs and disruptions outweigh any potential benefits of a unified system?
The Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill was introduced in May 2014 with a view to “strengthen and improve aspects of locally led alcohol and civic government licensing in order to preserve public order and safety, reduce crime, and to advance public health.”
More information on the Bill can be found here:
The Committee’s call for evidence is open until Monday 29 September 2014.
More information on submitting evidence to the Committee can be found on the Committee’s webpage: