Accessibility |

COPFS

Firearms Act 1968, Section 5(1A)(A)(R012907)

Firearms Act 1968, Section 5(1A)(A)(R012907)

Thank you for your letter of 15 April 2016 in which you requested the following information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA):



“1. When did it become against the law to be in possession of a “stun gun”.

2. Since it became illegal; list all sentences handed down by the Courts in Scotland; also include the forename and surname of the persons accused (public knowledge);

3. Both questions above relate to Firearms Act 1968, Section 5(1A)(A).”

You have indicated that both questions relate to the Firearms Act 1968, Section 5(1A)(a). In law stun guns are designed as delivering a noxious substance i.e. electricity. Section 5(1A)(a) as referred to in your question above, relates to “any firearm which is disguised as another object.” The current legislation covering the possession of stun guns is Section 5(1)(b) of the Firearms Act 1968 which makes it illegal to possess, purchase, acquire, manufacture, sell or transfer any weapon of whatever description designed or adapted for the discharge of any noxious liquid, gas or other thing.

You have asked when it became illegal to be in possession of a stun gun. As explained above in law stun guns are designed as delivering a noxious substance i.e. electricity. The earliest firearms legislation referring to a noxious substance is Section 6(1) of the Firearms Act 1920 which came into operation from 1 September 1920 but has since been superseded.

In relation to question 2 above, statistical information about prosecutions can be extracted more easily from the Scottish Government Justice Department’s Court Proceedings Database which is designed to provide statistical information. It contains information about cases prosecuted in all Courts including sentencing. You can contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or dial 0131 244 2228.