Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill


Stage 1

The Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Parliament by Kenny MacAskill MSP on 14 May 2014.

The policy objective of the Bill is 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. This is being achieved through reforms to the existing systems to alcohol licensing, taxi and private hire care licensing, metal dealer licensing and; giving local communities a new power to regulate sexual entertainment venues in their areas. The Bill will also protect public safety by creating a new licensing regime for air weapons.


On Friday 27 June 2014 the Committee wrote to the Scottish Government seeking further information on the Policy Memorandum.

The Scottish Government responded to the Committees letter on 1 September 2014 providing further information on the Policy Memorandum.

Purpose of the Bill

The Bill amendments the licencing regime in Scotland three broad areas to improve and strengthen the licensing system with the objectives of (a) preserving public order and safety, (b) reducing crime and (c) advancing public health policy.

The Bill seeks to achieve this by doing the following. Firstly it establishes two new licensing regimes in Scotland:

(i) a new licencing regime for owing and using an air weapon in Scotland; and 
(ii) a new licensing regime for the operation of sexual entertainment venues in Scotland.

Secondly, the Bill amends the current licencing regime under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 to make it an offence to supply alcohol to people under 18 for consumption in a public place. The Bill also takes forward a number of technical changes to the licensing system for alcohol sales.

Thirdly, the Bill amends the existing civil licencing regime in relation to the licensing of taxis and private car hires; scrap metal dealerships and public entertainment venues. Each of these provisions is set out in more detail below.

Finally, the Bill provide for greater consistency across all licensing boards in relation to issues such as hearings on alcohol licensing and civil licensing. The Bill also establishes a new role of Civil Licensing Standards Officers (“CLSO”), modelled on the Licensing Standards Officers created under the 2005 Act.


Please see the attached document for information on the Committees scheduled timetable for the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill. Dates are subject to change:


Read the Committee's call for written evidence (now closed)

The Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Regeneration Committee has today, Tuesday 1 July 2014, launched a call for written evidence from all interested parties as part of its Stage 1 consideration of the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill. This Bill was introduced into the Scottish Parliament, by the Scottish Government, on Monday 14 May 2014. 

Organisations and individuals are invited to submit written evidence to the Committee setting out their views on the provisions of the Bill. Those submitting evidence should feel free to address any, or all, of the policy issues contained in the Bill. A copy of the Bill, and its accompanying documents, are available on the Scottish Parliament’s website at:

Call for Written Evidence Evidence

(Please note, the document was designed using Microsoft Word 2010, if you are using an older version of Word some of the functionality may not work. If you are having any problems completing the form please email the Committee at: [email protected]).

The closing date for submission was 5pm on Monday 29 September 2014.

Written Evidence Received

Read the written evidence received on the different aspects of the Bill: 

Supplementary Written Evidence Received

Following the evidence session on 3 December 2014, the Committee wrote to Police Scotland for clarification of fees for licenses. Read the letters here: 

Following the evidence session on 10 December 2014, the Committee received supplementary written evidence from the Institute of Licensing. Read the submission here:

Follwing the evidence session on 17 December 2014, the Committee received supplementary written evidence from Alcohol focus Scotland. Read the submission here:

Following the evidence session on 29 January 2015, the Committee reveived supplementary written evidence from British Transport Police. Read the submission here:

Relevant Details

The publisher of this material is:
The Scottish Parliament
EH99 1SP

During the referendum period the Scottish Parliament is obliged to provide this information in order to ensure transparency and comply with the campaign rules.

For further details, please see Schedule 4, Paragraph 27 of the Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013. Please note, the Scottish Parliament is not responsible for the content of external websites.


The Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill Team Leader wrote to the Committee to clarify a number of points in relation to the Bill.

The Committee wrote to all 14 NHS Boards in Scotland (12 January 2015) regarding the alcohol licensing provisions contained at Part 2 of the Bill. During evidence sessions, there was some debate around the extent to which Health Boards seek to interact with licensing boards when the latter are considering applications. Read the letter from Clerks and the reponses here:

Following the meeting on 29 January 2015, Assistant Chief Constable Nelson Telfer wrote to the Committee with follow up information. Read the letter here:

The Scottish Government's Bill Team Leader wrote to the Clerks regarding written submissions. Read the repsonse here:


On 23 March 2015, the Local Government and Regeneration published it's report on the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill. Read the report here:

On 22 April 2015, the Scottish Government provided a written response to the Committee's Stage 1 report the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill:

Additional Information


Watch the Committee's short video on the Taxi and Private Hire Car licensing provisions within the Bill and have your say: 

Have your opportunity to shape the Bill
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