Air gun owners on Skye face a lengthy trip if they want to hand in their unwanted weapons at specifically designated police stations.

For during a three week long surrender scheme which begins on Monday 23 May the closest police office manned by officers with specialist training are in either Dingwall or Inverness, a near six hour round trip. 

But obviously accepting that many would not be prepared to travel so far, a spokesperson for Police Scotland said that while the force would prefer members of the public to use the designated offices with specially trained officers present,no police station would turn away individuals wanting to hand in their guns.

However, they added: “It would perhaps be a good idea to go into the station prior to handing over the weapons to make your intentions known to officers or support staff rather than just appearing with a gun.”

Under new rules it will be illegal for anyone to possess an air weapon without a licence under the Air Weapon and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015, which comes into force from 31 December 2016. However, prior to this date, anyone holding an air weapon has six months to either obtain a certificate or to surrender their weapon(s) to the police.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams, of Police Scotland, said:  “Protecting the public sits at the heart of everything we do and Police Scotland fully supports the new legislation and the more robust licensing arrangements that will be introduced. I would urge members of the public who own air weapons but don’t intend licensing them to take advantage of our surrender campaign.

"There will be 72 stations across Scotland where you can safely surrender your unwanted air weapons to trained staff. Take a moment or two to look out old or unwanted weapons and follow the advice on our website regarding how to safely transport them and where to take them. 

 "Getting rid of these unwanted air weapons will make our streets safer. Remember if you keep air weapons and don’t have a license you will be committing a criminal offence.”

 The three week surrender period will run until June 12.