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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

ChartThe estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in Scotland is

2017: 305,0001
2007: 280,0002

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 5.61
2007: 5.52

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

In Scotland, the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be 72,0053

Number of Privately Owned Shotguns

In Scotland, the number of shotguns in civilian possession is reported to be 141,5694

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

There are reportedly 5665 'handguns' in civilian possession in Scotland (see citation)

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Scotland ranked at No. 1056

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Scotland ranked at No. 932

Proportion of Households with Firearms

ChartIn Scotland, the percentage of households with one or more guns is reported to be

2005: 6.7%7
1999/2003: 3.1%
1995/98: 4.2%
1989: 5.1%

Proportion of Households with Handguns

ChartIn Scotland, the percentage of households with one or more handguns is reported to be

2005: 0.7%7
1999/2003: 0.1%
1995/98: 0.4%
1989: 0.4%

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

The number of licensed gun owners in Scotland is reported to be 73,8703 4

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

The rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Scotland is 1.398

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in Scotland is reported to be

2017: 187,0001
2013: 213,5743 4

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of registered guns per 100 people in Scotland is

2017: 3.458
2013: 4.02

Estimated Number of Illicit Firearms

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Scotland there are estimated to be

2017: 118,0001

Estimated Rate of Illicit Firearms per 100 Population

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Scotland the rate of illicit firearms per 100 people is estimated to be

2017: 2.188

Government Guns

Routine Arming of Police

In Scotland, police officers on routine patrol do not carry a firearm9 10

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Scotland are reported to have 2,00011 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn Scotland, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2014: 1112
2013: 11
2012: 1413
2011: 1314
2010: 1915
2009: 1116
2008: 1417
2007: 1318
2006: 2119
2005: 1920
2004: 1821
2003: 1222
2002: 1623
2001: 1324
2000: 2025
1999: 2526
1998: 3227
1997: 2028
1996: 4129

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

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

2014: 0.2112
2013: 0.21
2012: 0.26
2011: 0.25
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

Total Number of Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn Scotland, annual male deaths resulting from firearms total

2014: 1112
2013: 11
2012: 14
2011: 10
2010: 17

Total Number of Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Scotland, annual female deaths resulting from firearms total

2014: 012
2013: 0
2012: 0
2011: 3
2010: 2

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Scotland, annual homicides by any means total

2014: 5212
2013: 58
2012: 63
2011: 72
2010: 82
2009: 9930 31 32
2008: 115
2007: 120
2006: 95
2005: 137
2004: 109
2003: 125
2002: 11331 32
2001: 107
2000: 123
1999: 12833 32
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

2014: 0.2112
2013: 0.21
2012: 0.26
2011: 0.25
2010: 0.36
2009: 1.9
2008: 2.2
2007: 2.3
2006: 1.9
2005: 2.7
2004: 2.2
2003: 2.5
2002: 2.231 32
2001: 2.1
2000: 2.4
1999: 2.433 32
1998: 1.9
1997: 1.8
1996: 2.6
1995: 2.6

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Scotland, annual male homicides by any means total

2014: 3612
2013: 49
2012: 52
2011: 59
2010: 59

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Scotland, annual female homicides by any means total

2014: 1612
2013: 9
2012: 11
2011: 13
2010: 23

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Scotland, annual firearm homicides total

2014: 012
2013: 2
2012: 213
2011: 314 34
2010: 315 34
2009: 116 34
2008: 117 34
2007: 418 34
2006: 1019 34
2005: 720 34
2004: 621 34
2003: 222 34
2002: 323 34
2001: 524 35
2000: 425 35
1999: 726 35
1998: 827
1997: 528
1996: 2629

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2014: 012
2013: 0.04
2012: 0.04
2011: 0.06
2010: 0.06
2009: 0.0216
2008: 0.0217
2007: 0.0818
2006: 0.2019
2005: 0.1420
2004: 0.1221
2003: 0.0422
2002: 0.0623
2001: 0.1024
2000: 0.0825
1999: 0.1426
1998: 0.1627
1997: 0.1028
1996: 0.5129
1994: 0.1936

Male Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Scotland, annual male firearm homicides total

2015: 012
2014: 0
2013: 2
2012: 2
2011: 3
2010: 2

Female Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Scotland, annual female firearm homicides total

2015: 012
2014: 0
2013: 0
2012: 0
2011: 0
2010: 1

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn Scotland, annual handgun homicides total

2012: 237
2011: 238
2010: 039
2009: 140
2008: 141
2007: 142
2006: 343
2005: 144
2003: 045
2002: 046
2001: 147
2000: 148
1999: 049
1998: 150
1997: 551

Rate of Handgun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2011: 0.048
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

2012: 237
2011: 038
2010: 139
2009: 040
2007: 218 41
2006: 219 42
2005: 220 43
2004: 321 44
2003: 122 45
2002: 223 46
2001: 047
2000: 148
1999: 449
1998: 350
1997: 151

Rate of Long Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2011: 0.048
2010: 0.00
2009: 0.02
2008: 0.00
2007: 0.0418
2006: 0.0419
2005: 0.0420
2004: 0.0621
2003: 0.0222
2002: 0.0423
2001: 0.008
2000: 0.02
1999: 0.08
1998: 0.06
1997: 0.02

Gun Homicides (Other)

ChartIn Scotland, annual gun homicides (other) total

2011: 314 37
2010: 315 38
2009: 116 39
2008: 117 40
2007: 218 41
2006: 819 42
2005: 520 43
2004: 321 44
2003: 122 45
2002: 123 46
2001: 524 47
2000: 425 48
1999: 049
1998: 050
1997: 051

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

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

2011: 0.0614
2010: 0.0615
2009: 0.0216
2008: 0.0217
2007: 0.0418
2006: 0.1619
2005: 0.1020
2004: 0.0621
2003: 0.0222
2002: 0.0223
2001: 0.1024
2000: 0.0825
1999: 0.008
1998: 0.00
1997: 0.00

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Scotland, annual suicides by any means total

2014: 54912
2013: 600
2012: 569
2011: 52752
2010: 568
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

2014: 10.2712
2013: 11.26
2012: 10.71
2011: 9.94
2010: 10.79
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: 12.238 53
1993: 12.088
1992: 11.19
1991: 10.33
1990: 10.53

Male Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Scotland, annual male suicides by any means total

2014: 39812
2013: 479
2012: 426
2011: 393
2010: 424

Female Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Scotland, annual female suicides by any means total

2014: 15112
2013: 121
2012: 143
2011: 134
2010: 144

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Scotland, annual firearm suicides total

2014: 1012
2013: 6
2012: 1013
2011: 614 54
2010: 1315 54
2009: 1016 54
2008: 1317 54
2007: 618 54
2006: 919 54
2005: 1120 54
2004: 921 54
2003: 722 54
2002: 1023 54
2001: 724 54
2000: 1425 54
1999: 1426 54
1998: 1727 54
1997: 1028 54
1996: 1129 54
1995: 3454
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

2014: 0.1912
2013: 0.11
2012: 0.19
2011: 0.11
2010: 0.25
2009: 0.1916
2008: 0.2517
2007: 0.1218
2006: 0.1819
2005: 0.2220
2004: 0.1821
2003: 0.1422
2002: 0.2023
2001: 0.1424
2000: 0.2825
1999: 0.2826
1998: 0.3327
1997: 0.2028
1996: 0.2229
1995: 0.678
1994: 0.378 55
1993: 0.578
1992: 0.35
1991: 0.39
1990: 0.39

Male Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Scotland, annual male firearm suicides total

2014: 1012
2013: 6
2012: 10
2011: 5
2010: 12

Female Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Scotland, annual female firearm suicides total

2014: 012
2013: 0
2012: 0
2011: 1
2010: 1

Handgun Suicides

ChartIn Scotland, annual handgun suicides total

2010: 115
2001: 124

Rate of Handgun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2010: 0.0215
2001: 0.0224

Long Gun Suicides

ChartIn Scotland, the number of long gun suicides is

2011: 514
2010: 615
2009: 816
2008: 717
2007: 318
2006: 619
2005: 720
2004: 421
2003: 522
2002: 623
2001: 524
2000: 825

Rate of Long Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2011: 0.1014
2010: 0.1115
2009: 0.1516
2008: 0.1417
2007: 0.0618
2006: 0.1219
2005: 0.1420
2004: 0.0821
2003: 0.1022
2002: 0.1223
2001: 0.1024
2000: 0.1625

Gun Suicides (Other)

ChartIn Scotland, annual gun suicides (other) total

2011: 114
2010: 615
2009: 216
2008: 617
2007: 318
2006: 319
2005: 420
2004: 521
2003: 222
2002: 423
2001: 124
2000: 625

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

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

2011: 0.0214
2010: 0.1115
2009: 0.0416
2008: 0.1217
2007: 0.0618
2006: 0.0619
2005: 0.0820
2004: 0.1021
2003: 0.0422
2002: 0.0823
2001: 0.0224
2000: 0.1225

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn Scotland, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2014: 112
2013: 2
2012: 0
2011: 114
2010: 0
2007: 118
2006: 119
2004: 121
2002: 123
2001: 056

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

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

2014: 0.0212
2013: 0.02
2012: 0.04
2011: 0.06
2010: 0.06
2007: 0.0218
2006: 0.0219
2004: 0.0221
2002: 0.0223
2001: 0.0056
1994: 0.0257

Unintentional Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn Scotland, annual unintentional male shooting deaths total

2014: 112
2013: 2
2012: 0
2011: 0
2010: 0

Unintentional Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Scotland, annual unintentional female shooting deaths total

2014: 012
2013: 0
2012: 0
2011: 1
2010: 0

Unintentional Long Gun Deaths

ChartIn Scotland, annual unintentional shooting deaths by long gun total

2011: 114
2007: 118
2006: 119
2002: 123

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: 0.0214
2007: 0.0218
2006: 0.0219
2002: 0.0223

Unintentional Gun Deaths (Other)

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

2004: 121

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: 0.0221

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2014: 012
2013: 1
2012: 213
2011: 314
2010: 315
2007: 218
2006: 119
2005: 120
2004: 221
2003: 322
2002: 223
2001: 124
2000: 225
1999: 426
1998: 727
1997: 528
1996: 429

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

2012: 0.048
2011: 0.0614
2010: 0.0615
2007: 0.0418
2006: 0.0219
2005: 0.0220
2004: 0.0421
2003: 0.0622
2002: 0.0423
2001: 0.0224
2000: 0.0425
1999: 0.0926
1998: 0.1427
1997: 0.1028
1996: 0.0829
1994: 0.0458

Male Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2014: 012
2013: 1
2012: 2
2011: 2
2010: 3

Female Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2014: 012
2013: 0
2012: 0
2011: 1
2010: 0

Long Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2011: 114
2010: 215
2007: 118
2006: 119
2005: 120
2004: 221
2003: 222
2002: 223
2001: 124
2000: 125

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: 0.0214
2010: 0.0415
2007: 0.0218
2006: 0.0219
2005: 0.0220
2004: 0.0421
2003: 0.0422
2002: 0.0423
2001: 0.0224
2000: 0.0225

Gun Deaths (Other) from Undetermined Cause

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

2011: 214
2010: 115
2007: 118
2003: 122
2000: 125

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: 0.0414
2010: 0.0215
2007: 0.0218
2003: 0.0222
2000: 0.0225

Non-fatal Gun Injuries

ChartIn Scotland, the annual number of non-fatal firearm injuries59 is

2012: 9060 61
2011: 109
2010: 152
2009: 140
2008: 208
2007: 240
2006: 189
2005: 316
2004: 239
2003: 340

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

ChartIn Scotland, the annual rate of non-fatal firearm injury59 per 100,000 population is

2011: 1.708
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)62 and the Firearms (Scotland) Rules 198963

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Scotland are regulated by the Chief Officer of Police64 65

Right to Possess Firearms

In Scotland, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law66 67

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Scotland, only licensed gun owners64 65 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 establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm68

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Scotland must pass a background check which considers mental health, health and criminal68 69 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Scotland, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are required70

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Scotland, the law requires5 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 required71 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 unlawful71

Number of Licensed Gun Dealers

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

2012: 35372
2011: 346
2010: 337
2009: 335
2008: 327
2007: 301
2006: 283
2005: 275
2004: 280
2003: 284
2002: 28573
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 include64 65 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 voluntarily surrendered in recent arms amnesty and collection programmes is reported to be 3,39374 (2003)

Small Arms Destroyed

In Scotland, the number of firearms destroyed following amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be 80075 (2008)

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Scotland, it is state policy76 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market


Short References

1.

Karp, Aaron.2018.‘Civilian Firearms Holdings, 2017.’ Estimating Global Civilian-Held Firearms Numbers.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,18 June. (Q13434)Full Citation

2.

Karp, Aaron.2007.‘Completing the Count: Civilian firearms - Annexe online.’ Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,27 August. (Q5)Full Citation

3.

Scotland.2013.‘Table 1: Firearm Certificates - Number of New Applications (Granted and Refused), Firearm Certificates on Issue and Firearms Held in Scotland as at 31 December, 2003-2013.’ Scottish Government, Crime and Justice Datasets.Edinburgh:Justice Analytical Services Division,29 May. (Q6813)Full Citation

4.

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

5.

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7.

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