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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 March 2007, 16:39 GMT
Airgun ban takes a step forward
The airgun issue is being considered by the city council
A move which could see Aberdeen become the first city in Scotland to ban airguns has taken a step forward.

Councillor for Seaton, Norman Collie, hopes to end what he calls the yob culture associated with the weapons.

Councillors agreed to refer the proposal to the local authority's policy and strategy committee.

If approved, the Scottish Executive would have to approve a by-law. One shooting association said the moved seemed "a bit excessive".

A number of people and animals have been injured in attacks in recent years, with damage caused to property.

'Appreciate concerns'

The Labour councillor argues airguns should be made illegal within Aberdeen's boundaries.

Councillor Collie said: "The number of incidents involving airguns is creeping up across Scotland and something needs to be done about these weapons."

James Scott, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation's (BASC) press and policy officer for Scotland, told the BBC Scotland news website: "We appreciate there are concerns in some areas.

"Our premise is we have got existing legislation all of which should prevent the misuse of airguns if the legislation is properly enforced and the public suitably educated."

More than eight in 10 people in Scotland would back a ban on airguns, according to a recent poll carried out on behalf of Glasgow MSP Tommy Sheridan.

He said that 82% of the 1,000 respondents said they supported his proposal to restrict use.

Aberdeen gun shop owner Neil Anderson previously said he agreed that using airguns illegally should result in harsh punishment, but that he did not feel they should be banned.

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