SCOTTISH ministers expected a backlash to shooting being part of the Commonwealth Games in 2014 because of continuing sensitivities around the Dunblane massacre.

Papers released by the National Records of Scotland show the then Scottish Executive raised the potential for controversy as it worked on the bid for Glasgow to host the games. 

On March 13 1996, Thomas Hamilton shot and killed 16 pupils and one teacher at Dunblane Primary School in the worst mass shooting in UK history before shooting himself.

It led to far tighter gun measures in the UK, with most weapons effectively banned.

The tragedy featured in a discussion of the Scottish cabinet in January 2007 after Labour sports minister Patricia Ferguson presented a paper on Glasgow’s bid document.

Jack McConnell’s ministers “noted that shooting had been included as one of the additional sports in the sports programme”, making it a potential deal-breaker for a winning bid.

“Although this decision could prove to be controversial, given the sensitivities that remained in Scotland following the Dunblane tragedy, it was clear that, without it, Glasgow would have lost votes on its bid.

“In order to counteract some of the criticism that would be levied over the inclusion of shooting, the decision had been taken to use as venues only existing Ministry of Defence of police training facilities; and any enhancement of facilities required would be made only to those professional training establishments.”

During the games, shooting was held at the Barry Buddon training camp near Dundee, which is owned by the Ministry of Defence.

Team Scotland won four medals in the event, while England took home 15, including six golds.