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Scotland — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

For combined British figures and legislation, see 'United Kingdom'

StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Firearms

The estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in Scotland is 280,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Scotland is 5.51 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

In Scotland, the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be 72,0052

Number of Privately Owned Shotguns

In Scotland, the number of shotguns in civilian possession is reported to be 141,5693

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

There are reportedly 5664 'handguns' in civilian possession in Scotland (see citation)

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Scotland ranked at No. 1055

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Scotland ranked at No. 931

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

The number of licensed gun owners in Scotland is reported to be 73,8702 3

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

The rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Scotland is 1.396

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in Scotland is reported to be 213,5742 3

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in Scotland is 4.026

Government Guns

Routine Arming of Police

In Scotland, police officers on routine patrol do not carry a firearm7 8

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Scotland are reported to have 20,7349 10 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn Scotland, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2011: 1311
2010: 1912
2009: 1113
2008: 1414
2007: 1315
2006: 2116
2005: 1917
2004: 1818
2003: 1219
2002: 1620
2001: 1321
2000: 2022
1999: 2523
1998: 3224
1997: 2025
1996: 4126

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

ChartIn Scotland, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.256
2010: 0.36
2009: 0.21
2008: 0.27
2007: 0.25
2006: 0.41
2005: 0.37
2004: 0.35
2003: 0.24
2002: 0.32
2001: 0.26
2000: 0.40
1999: 0.49
1998: 0.63
1997: 0.39
1996: 0.81

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Scotland, annual homicides by any means total

2011/12: 9027 28
2010/11: 101
2009/10: 82
2008/09: 9927 29 28
2007/08: 115
2006/07: 120
2005/06: 95
2004/05: 137
2003/04: 109
2002/03: 125
2001/02: 11329 28
2000/01: 107
1999: 12830 28
1999/00: 123
1998: 100
1997: 95
1996: 135
1995: 137

Rate of Homicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Scotland, the annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2011/12: 1.727 28
2010/11: 1.9
2009/10: 1.6
2008/09: 1.9
2007/08: 2.2
2006/07: 2.3
2005/06: 1.9
2004/05: 2.7
2003/04: 2.2
2002/03: 2.5
2001/02: 2.229 28
2000/01: 2.1
1999: 2.430 28
1999/00: 2.4
1998: 1.9
1997: 1.8
1996: 2.6
1995: 2.6

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Scotland, annual firearm homicides total

2011: 311 31
2010: 312 31
2009: 113 31
2008: 114 31
2007: 415 31
2006: 1016 31
2005: 717 31
2004: 618 31
2003: 219 31
2002: 320 31
2001: 521 32
2000: 422 32
1999: 723 32
1998: 824
1997: 525
1996: 2626

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Scotland, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.0611
2010: 0.0612
2009: 0.0213
2008: 0.0214
2007: 0.0815
2006: 0.2016
2005: 0.1417
2004: 0.1218
2003: 0.0419
2002: 0.0620
2001: 0.1021
2000: 0.0822
1999: 0.1423
1998: 0.1624
1997: 0.1025
1996: 0.5126
1994: 0.1933

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn Scotland, annual handgun homicides total

2011/12: 234
2010/11: 235
2009/10: 036
2008/09: 137
2007/08: 138
2006/07: 139
2005/06: 340
2004/05: 141
2003: 042
2002: 043
2001: 144
2000: 145
1999: 046
1998: 147
1997: 548

Rate of Handgun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Scotland, the annual rate of handgun homicide per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.046
2010: 0.04
2009: 0.00
2008: 0.02
2007: 0.02
2006: 0.02
2005: 0.06
2004: 0.02
2003: 0.00
2002: 0.00
2001: 0.02
2000: 0.02
1999: 0.00
1998: 0.02
1997: 0.10

Long Gun Homicides

ChartIn Scotland, annual long gun homicides total

2011/12: 234
2010/11: 035
2009/10: 136
2008/09: 037
2007: 215 38
2006: 216 39
2005: 217 40
2004: 318 41
2003: 119 42
2002: 220 43
2001: 044
2000: 145
1999: 446
1998: 347
1997: 148

Rate of Long Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Scotland, the annual rate of long gun homicide per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.046
2010: 0.00
2009: 0.02
2008: 0.00
2007: 0.0415
2006: 0.0416
2005: 0.0417
2004: 0.0618
2003: 0.0219
2002: 0.0420
2001: 0.006
2000: 0.02
1999: 0.08
1998: 0.06
1997: 0.02

Gun Homicides (Other)

ChartIn Scotland, annual gun homicides (other) total

2011: 311 34
2010: 312 35
2009: 113 36
2008: 114 37
2007: 215 38
2006: 816 39
2005: 517 40
2004: 318 41
2003: 119 42
2002: 120 43
2001: 521 44
2000: 422 45
1999: 046
1998: 047
1997: 048

Rate of Gun Homicide (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn Scotland, the annual rate of gun homicide (other) per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.0611
2010: 0.0612
2009: 0.0213
2008: 0.0214
2007: 0.0415
2006: 0.1616
2005: 0.1017
2004: 0.0618
2003: 0.0219
2002: 0.0220
2001: 0.1021
2000: 0.0822
1999: 0.006
1998: 0.00
1997: 0.00

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Scotland, annual suicides by any means total

2011: 52749
2010: 569
2009: 568
2008: 569
2007: 517
2006: 542
2005: 547
2004: 606
2003: 560
2002: 636
2001: 609
2000: 648
1999: 637
1998: 649
1997: 599
1996: 597
1995: 623
1994: 624
1993: 615
1992: 569
1991: 525
1990: 535

Rate of Suicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Scotland, the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2011: 9.946
2010: 10.90
2009: 10.94
2008: 11.01
2007: 10.05
2006: 10.59
2005: 10.74
2004: 11.93
2003: 11.07
2002: 12.58
2001: 12.03
2000: 12.80
1999: 12.56
1998: 12.78
1997: 11.78
1996: 11.72
1995: 12.21
1994: 12.236 50
1993: 12.086
1992: 11.19
1991: 10.33
1990: 10.53

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Scotland, annual firearm suicides total

2011: 611 51
2010: 1312 51
2009: 1013 51
2008: 1314 51
2007: 615 51
2006: 916 51
2005: 1117 51
2004: 918 51
2003: 719 51
2002: 1020 51
2001: 721 51
2000: 1422 51
1999: 1423 51
1998: 1724 51
1997: 1025 51
1996: 1126 51
1995: 3451
1994: 19
1993: 29
1992: 18
1991: 20
1990: 20

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Scotland, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.1111
2010: 0.2512
2009: 0.1913
2008: 0.2514
2007: 0.1215
2006: 0.1816
2005: 0.2217
2004: 0.1818
2003: 0.1419
2002: 0.2020
2001: 0.1421
2000: 0.2822
1999: 0.2823
1998: 0.3324
1997: 0.2025
1996: 0.2226
1995: 0.676
1994: 0.376 52
1993: 0.576
1992: 0.35
1991: 0.39
1990: 0.39

Handgun Suicides

ChartIn Scotland, annual handgun suicides total

2010: 112
2001: 121

Rate of Handgun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Scotland, the annual rate of handgun suicide per 100,000 population is

2010: 0.0212
2001: 0.0221

Long Gun Suicides

ChartIn Scotland, the number of long gun suicides is

2011: 511
2010: 612
2009: 813
2008: 714
2007: 315
2006: 616
2005: 717
2004: 418
2003: 519
2002: 620
2001: 521
2000: 822

Rate of Long Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Scotland, the annual rate of long gun suicide per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.1011
2010: 0.1112
2009: 0.1513
2008: 0.1414
2007: 0.0615
2006: 0.1216
2005: 0.1417
2004: 0.0818
2003: 0.1019
2002: 0.1220
2001: 0.1021
2000: 0.1622

Gun Suicides (Other)

ChartIn Scotland, annual gun suicides (other) total

2011: 111
2010: 612
2009: 213
2008: 614
2007: 315
2006: 316
2005: 417
2004: 518
2003: 219
2002: 420
2001: 121
2000: 622

Rate of Gun Suicide (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn Scotland, the annual rate of gun suicide (other) per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.0211
2010: 0.1112
2009: 0.0413
2008: 0.1214
2007: 0.0615
2006: 0.0616
2005: 0.0817
2004: 0.1018
2003: 0.0419
2002: 0.0820
2001: 0.0221
2000: 0.1222

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn Scotland, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2011: 111
2007: 115
2006: 116
2004: 118
2002: 120
2001: 053

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Scotland, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.0211
2007: 0.0215
2006: 0.0216
2004: 0.0218
2002: 0.0220
2001: 0.0053
1994: 0.0254

Unintentional Long Gun Deaths

ChartIn Scotland, annual unintentional shooting deaths by long gun total

2011: 111
2007: 115
2006: 116
2002: 120

Rate of Unintentional Long Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Scotland, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by long gun per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.0211
2007: 0.0215
2006: 0.0216
2002: 0.0220

Unintentional Gun Deaths (Other)

In Scotland, annual unintentional shooting deaths by firearm (other) total 2004: 118

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death (Other) per 100,000 People

In Scotland, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by firearm (other) per 100,000 population is 2004: 0.0218

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Scotland, annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2011: 311
2010: 312
2007: 215
2006: 116
2005: 117
2004: 218
2003: 319
2002: 220
2001: 121
2000: 222
1999: 423
1998: 724
1997: 525
1996: 426

Rate of Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Scotland, the annual rate of unknown-cause shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.0611
2010: 0.0612
2007: 0.0415
2006: 0.0216
2005: 0.0217
2004: 0.0418
2003: 0.0619
2002: 0.0420
2001: 0.0221
2000: 0.0422
1999: 0.0923
1998: 0.1424
1997: 0.1025
1996: 0.0826
1994: 0.0455

Long Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Scotland, annual deaths by long gun in which the cause remains undecided total

2011: 111
2010: 212
2007: 115
2006: 116
2005: 117
2004: 218
2003: 219
2002: 220
2001: 121
2000: 122

Rate of Long Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Scotland, the annual rate of unknown-cause long gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.0211
2010: 0.0412
2007: 0.0215
2006: 0.0216
2005: 0.0217
2004: 0.0418
2003: 0.0419
2002: 0.0420
2001: 0.0221
2000: 0.0222

Gun Deaths (Other) from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Scotland, annual deaths by firearm (other) in which the cause remains undecided total

2011: 211
2010: 112
2007: 115
2003: 119
2000: 122

Rate of Gun Death (Other) from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Scotland, the annual rate of unknown-cause gun deaths (other) per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.0411
2010: 0.0212
2007: 0.0215
2003: 0.0219
2000: 0.0222

Non-fatal Gun Injuries

ChartIn Scotland, the reported, or estimated annual number of non-fatal firearm injuries is

2011/12: 9056 57
2010/11: 109
2009/10: 152
2008/09: 140
2007/08: 208
2006/07: 240
2005/06: 189
2004/05: 316
2003/04: 239
2002/03: 340

Rate of Non-fatal Gun Injury per 100,000 People

ChartIn Scotland, the reported, or estimated annual rate or proportion of non-fatal firearm injury is

2011: 1.706
2010: 2.09
2009: 2.93
2008: 2.71
2007: 4.04
2006: 4.69
2005: 3.71
2004: 6.22
2003: 4.73
2002: 4.75

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Scotland includes the Firearms Act 1968 (see United Kingdom)58 and the Firearms (Scotland) Rules 198959

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Scotland are regulated by the Chief Officer of Police60 61

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Scotland, only licensed gun owners60 61 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Scotland are required to prove genuine reason to possess a firearm62

Gun Licence Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Scotland must pass a background check which considers mental, health and criminal62 63 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Scotland, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are required64

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Scotland, the law requires4 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

Gun Dealer Record Keeping

In Scotland, licensed firearm dealers are required65 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Scotland, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful65

Number of Licensed Gun Dealers

ChartThe number of licensed firearm dealers in Scotland is reported to be

2012: 35366
2011: 346
2010: 337
2009: 335
2008: 327
2007: 301
2006: 283
2005: 275
2004: 280
2003: 284
2002: 28567
2001: 273
2000: 278
1999: 283
1998: 295
1997: 313
1996: 319
1995: 328
1994: 350

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Scotland include60 61 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Surrendered in Gun Amnesty

In Scotland, the number of firearms and/or rounds of ammunition voluntarily surrendered for destruction in recent arms amnesty and collection programmes is reported to be 3,39368 (2003)

Small Arms Destroyed

In Scotland, the total number of firearms destroyed following recent amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be 80069 (2008)

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Scotland, it is state policy70 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market


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Scotland.2013.‘Table 5: Shotgun Certificates: Number of New Applications (Granted and Refused), Shotgun Certificates on Issue and Shotguns Held in Scotland as at 31 December, 2003-2013.’ Scottish Government, Crime and Justice Datasets.Edinburgh:Justice Analytical Services Division,29 May. (Q6814)Full Citation

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