MSPs have voted to introduce a compulsory licence scheme to crack down on air guns.

Calls for action were made following the death of two year-old Andrew Morton in Easterhouse in 2005.

His mother Sharon McMillan was in the Scottish Parliament to hear the debate and vote which passed the Air Weapons and Licensing Scotland Bill.

The law means that people who want to own an airgun need to have a licence.

The new legislation also affects anyone who currently owns an air weapon and wants to keep it.

,Anyone who wants to buy a new air weapon must also apply for a licence.

The SNP and Labour voted to pass the Bill while the Tories and LibDems voted against it.

Andrew Morton was killed when he was hit by an airgun pellet while being carried in the street by his older brother as a crowd gathered as firefighters tackled a blaze near his home.

Mark Bonini, then aged 27, was convicted of the boy’s murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Justice Secretary, Michael Matheson, said he hoped the law would provide some comfort for Andrew’s family.

Mr Matheson said: “I met with Sharon McMillan. The mother of Andrew Morton who as tragically killed by an airgun some ten years ago.

“Sharon and her husband Andy campaigned tirelessly for something to be done about the danger of air weapons.

“I hope this provides them with some reassurance that nobody has to go through the same pain they have as a family.”

Police said the change in the law would allow better control of the weapons.

Assistant Chief Constable Wayne Mawson said: “Our focus is to keep people safe, and the vast majority of people who own air weapons in Scotland are law abiding citizens who conduct themselves in a responsible manner.

“There are, however, a small number of people who use air weapons either recklessly or with criminal intent. We welcome the introduction of this legislation which will provide greater control over air weapons in Scotland and will also help us keep people safe by reducing the number of them falling into the wrong hands.”

Animal rights campaigners also welcomed the move hoped to reduce attacks on pets and wildlife.

Jennifer Dunn, Senior Public Affairs Officer for League Against Cruel Sports Scotland, said “The lack of regulation of air guns has meant open season on animals by thugs who want to shoot them for fun.

“The new licensing scheme should mean that there are fewer air guns in circulation, that only people who have a reasonable use for air guns will be allowed to obtain a licence, and that it will be easier for the police to detect crimes involving air guns when they are committed.”