License an air weapon

Last updated: 25 October 2018

If you use or own an air weapon, you need to license it.

It is an offence to own or use an air weapon without the proper certificate or permit. This includes buying an air weapon, someone buying it for you or simply having an air weapon in your possession.

Exemptions may apply (this means you don't need a licence) in certain situations, including if you're:

  • a member of an air weapon club and only use a gun at the club or events linked to the club
  • a member of a cadet corps and only use a gun for specific activities linked to the corps
  • using a recreational shooting facility

If you want to know more about the exemptions from needing an air weapons licence, visit

Anyone found guilty of committing an offence under the Act could face a fine or, in some cases, imprisonment of up to 2 years.

How to apply for a licence

You can apply for an air weapon licence from Police Scotland.

If you don't want to license your air weapon

If you don't want to license your air weapon you can:

Age restrictions

You can't have an air weapon certificate if you're under 14. If you're over 14 but under 18 you can apply for a certificate but you can't buy, hire or own an air weapon.