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Man denied gun licence hid weapons in secret 'panic room'

Douglas Urquhart was caught with four illegal handguns and 40 bladed weapons.

Weapon 'enthusiast': Urquhart has been jailed for nearly four years.
Weapon 'enthusiast': Urquhart has been jailed for nearly four years. NCA

A man who was previously denied a gun licence has been jailed after illegally importing weapons from Spain and hiding them in his basement.

Douglas Urquhart, a self-confessed 'weapons and martial arts enthusiast', was arrested after a raid on his home in Loanhead, Midlothian, in May following an investigation by the joint National Crime Agency and Police Scotland Organised Crime Partnership.

Four illegal handguns - front-venting blank firers - and more than 40 bladed weapons including throwing stars, knives and machetes were found in the house.

On Tuesday, the 45-year-old, who pleaded guilty to firearms offences last month, was jailed at the High Court in Glasgow for three years and ten months.

NCA operations manager John McGowan added: "Urquhart had ordered these weapons online and imported them from Spain and, while they could only fire blanks in the state they were in, they are illegal in the UK because they can easily be converted to fire real ammunition.

"Tackling the illegal supply of firearms is a priority for the NCA, and we are determined to do all we can with our partners in Scotland and abroad to protect the public by doing just that."

Urquhart, who works as a joiner, had previously applied to Police Scotland for a gun licence but was refused.

The "panic room" where the weapons were found had an electromagnetic lock controlled by PIN entry keypad and contained tinned food, bottled water, a safe and CCTV system for outside.

Detective inspector Tom Gillan, of the Organised Crime Partnership (Scotland), added: "Our operations and investigations have now recovered over 40 firearms across Scotland since 2018 and we will continue in our efforts to take dangerous weapons off our streets.

"Targeting those who attempt to jeopardise the safety of our communities will continue to be a top priority for the OCP, supported by local divisions."

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