The Department of Justice and Equality has previously invited interested parties to make submissions on the joint An Garda Síochána/Department of Justice and Equality Working Group Report on the Review of Firearms Licensing
Firearms ownership is an issue that affects individuals, communities and society. There are differing and genuinely held views on the approach that legislation should take to firearms ownership. It is only right therefore, that stakeholders and other groups who have an interest in this area are given the opportunity to express their views and opinions on this important issue.
A central theme of what the report proposes is that the State should take a view as to whether specific categories of firearms pose risks to the extent that their ownership by individuals should not be considered. This has to be seen against the background that An Garda Síochána is largely an unarmed police force.
Scope of review
In September 2013, a joint Department of Justice and Equality and Garda Síochána Working Group was established to examine firearms licensing issues, following concerns raised by the Garda Commissioner, in particular with regard to the continued licensing of handguns.
The group were asked to examine policy, legislative and administrative issues which impact on the effective implementation of the firearms licensing system.
The report of the Working Group was presented to the Minister for Justice and Equality and, in keeping with the Minister’s commitment to consult with stakeholders, a public consultation took place between November 2014 and January 2015.
The Department sought views on the recommendations contained in the report. The main recommendations in the report are that the:
- licensing of handguns be confined to specified Olympic handguns;
- licensing of centre-fire semi-automatic rifles be prohibited;
- licensing of semi-automatic shotguns with a capacity of greater than three cartridges be prohibited;
- grounds for disentitlement to hold firearms be expanded to include persons convicted of certain additional offences;
- grounds for an appeal to the District Court against a refusal to grant a firearms certificate be extended;
- reloading of ammunition be permitted in a controlled manner.
Submissions to the Review
The deadline for receipt of submissions was 31 January 2015.