Advocate General Richard Keen QC charged with firearms offence

Written by Jessica Wilkins on 27 February 2017 in News

The Advocate General for Scotland is alleged to have failed to secure his shotgun on Hogmanay last year

Advocate General for Scotland Lord Keen _ Image credit: PA Images

The UK Government’s most senior adviser on Scots law has been charged with a firearms offence.

Richard Keen QC, the Advocate General for Scotland, has been charged with breaching firearms legislation on Hogmanay last year.

Lord Keen – who recently represented the UK Government at the Supreme Court in its case over the triggering of Article 50, successfully arguing the consent of the Scottish Parliament was not needed for Brexit negotiations to begin – is alleged to have failed to secure his 12-bore shotgun.


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Police were initially called to his home in Edinburgh after reports of a break in.

It was there officers are believed to have discovered Lord Keen’s alleged failure to comply with the conditions of his firearms certificate.

The charge stated that, according to the conditions, shotguns must at all times "be stored securely so as to prevent so far as reasonably practicable, access to the shotguns by unauthorised persons".

A statement from his spokesman said: "Lord Keen deeply regrets this inadvertent breach of licence conditions, which was a one-off error.

"He has held a licence for many years and has always adhered strictly to the licence conditions, as evidenced by a number of police inspections."

A UK Government spokesman said: "We are aware Lord Keen is in correspondence with the procurator fiscal regarding a legal matter relating to an inadvertent breach of licence conditions.

"Having considered the issue carefully, we are satisfied that this matter has no bearing on Lord Keen's ability to carry out his ministerial duties to the highest standard."

The case is due to call at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on 1 March.

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