- Where do I apply for a firearms certificate?
The Garda Síochána is the licensing authority for firearms so you should apply at your local Garda station. You can find more information on firearms licensing and the application form on the Garda website.
- What does a firearms certificate cost?
A firearms certificate costs €80 for 3 years. This is the same no matter what type of firearm. A firearms’ training certificate costs €40 for 3 years. A firearms’ certificate for a non-resident costs €40 for 1 year.
- Will I need to have a gun safe or an alarm?
There are different levels here (PDF - 101 KB) of home security depending on how many firearms you have licensed and on whether they are restricted or non-restricted firearms.
- How old do I have to be before I can apply for a firearms certificate?
You have to be over 16 years of age before you can apply for a firearms certificate. You have to be over 14 years of age before you can apply for a firearms training certificate.
- What is a firearms training certificate?
A firearms training certificate does not allow you to own a firearm but it does allow you to possess a firearm and ammunition (though not a restricted firearm or restricted ammunition) while carrying and using it under the supervision of a specified person over 18 years of age who holds a firearm certificate for that gun.
You must be over 14 years of age to apply for a training certificate. If you are under 16 years of age, the application for a firearms training certificate must be accompanied by the written consent of the applicant’s parent or guardian.
- What is a restricted firearm?
Firearms licensable in this country are split into two categories: non-restricted and restricted. Firearms were divided into these categories by a statutory instrument in 2008. This statutory instrument was amended in 2009.
- What's the position with crossbows, spearguns, paintball markers and airguns such as air rifles?
Crossbows, spearguns and all airguns with a muzzle velocity of over one joule (including paintball markers) are legally considered firearms and have to be licensed. You should apply for a firearms certificate in the normal way.
- What about CS gas spray, pepper spray and stun guns?
These are all totally prohibited in this country. Importation or possession of any of these items is illegal.
- I collect old and antique guns. Do I need to licence them?
Antique firearms are exempt from the provisions of the Firearms Acts provided they are held as ornaments or curiosities. More information on this can be found in the firearms licensing guidelines on the Garda website. If you intend to buy one from abroad you should obtain an importation licence from this Department before bringing it into the country.
Modern reproductions of antique firearms are not exempt from firearms legislation. You may wish to buy an old (but not antique) firearm, or one which is valuable because of its historical significance or as an investment. These firearms require a firearms certificate and you should apply in the normal way.
- What about deactivated firearms?
On April 8 2016 a new EU Deactivation Regulation came into force. It introduced new EU-wide standards for deactivated firearms to ensure that deactivated firearms cannot be reactivated. This Regulation also introduced an EU Deactivation Certificate and a new EU deactivation mark. This Regulation sets out a new set of deactivation requirements for anything deactivated from 8 April 2016 onwards. It has subsequently been amended by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/337 which came into effect on 20 June 2018 and which provides for revised technical specifications.
Existing deactivated firearms not capable of being fired, may still be kept on the written authorisation of the local Superintendent. However, it should be noted the Regulation stipulates that these must be re-deactivated to the new EU deactivation standards upon sale, transfer or gift (including inheritance).
The only acceptable proof that a firearm is deactivated is an EU Deactivation Certificate. No other Deactivation certificate can be accepted. This certificate can only be issued by an entity that has been approved as a deactivation verifier by an EU Member State. Ireland has not yet approved such an entity. Ireland will accept certificates that have been issued by approved verifiers in other Member States. Click here for a list of verifying entities.
Where a deactivated firearm is being placed on the market or is changing ownership, the EU Deactivation Certificate must state that the firearm has been deactivated in accordance with the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/337. The firearm must also have the new EU deactivation mark on it. Deactivated firearms that cannot meet this requirement will not be issued with an import licence.
- I would like to register as a firearm’s dealer/gunsmith/ammunition dealer. Where do I start?
You cannot become a registered firearms dealer if you are disentitled to be registered under the Firearms Acts. The following persons are declared to be disentitled to be registered under section 9 the Firearms Act 1925 as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 2006:
(a) a person under the age of 21 years
(b) a person of unsound mind;
(c) a person who has been sentenced to imprisonment for an offence under the Firearms Acts 1925 to 2006, the Offences against the State Acts 1939 to 1998 or the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005;
(d) a person who is bound by a recognisance to keep the peace or be of good behaviour, a condition of which is that the person shall not possess, use or carry a firearm or ammunition.
Before you can be registered you will have to satisfy the Minister for Justice that you are immediately about to carry on business as a firearms dealer in the Republic of Ireland in premises suitable for that purpose. You should clarify planning permission requirements with your local authority. In considering any such application for registration the Minister shall have regard to the character of the applicant, and generally to the public safety and preservation of the peace.
Registered firearms dealers must comply by 1 February 2019 with the minimum standards in respect of premises set out in Statutory Instrument 646 of 2017 ( Firearms (Storage of Firearms and Ammunition by Firearms Dealers) Regulations 2017).
More information on the registration process, including the application form is set out under Administration and Forms for Firearms Dealers.
- How do I go about importing or exporting a firearm?
Step-by-step instructions can be found under firearms dealers and individuals on this website.
What are the European Rules on Firearms?
A Directive on the Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons (91/477/EC) was first adopted by the then Council of the European Communities in 1991 and given effect in Irish law in 1993 with the making of Statutory Instrument Number 362/1993. The Directive provided for procedures in relation to the movement of weapons within the then European Community. Amongst the other measures in the original Directive were the introduction of a European Firearms Pass which would allow holders to move between Member States, subject to certain restrictions, as well as the introduction of categories for differing firearms.
The Directive was amended in 2008 by Amending Directive 2008/51/EC which was given effect to in Ireland with the making of Statutory Instrument Number 493/2010. The amending Directive included requirements to ensure improved traceability of firearms.
A further amendment to the Directive was made in 2017 with the passing of Amending Directive (EU) 2017/853. This Directive was given effect to in Ireland in August 2019 with the signing of Statutory Instrument Number 420/2019. The main changes include: new requirements for the marking of firearms; new storage requirements for firearms; prohibition on the acquisition of large capacity magazines and the prohibition of certain firearms. A summary of the main changes is available here: Guidance note for SI 420 of 2019 transposing firearms directive.
Some of the measures required by the Directives were already provided in Ireland under national legislation at their time of adoption.The Directives and related Statutory Instruments are available here: http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/LegislationPublication
- I have recently moved to Ireland. Can I get a firearm certificate?
You have to be living here for at least six months before you can apply to hold a firearms certificate. This applies also to Irish citizens returning to Ireland having lived abroad.
An Garda Síochána is the licensing authority for firearms. You can find more information on firearms licensing and the application form on the Garda website.
- What are Offensive Weapons?
Offensive weapons include flick-knives, knuckledusters, swordsticks, sword umbrellas, hand and foot claws, belt buckle knives, pushdaggers, hollow kubotans, shurikens, butterfly knives, telescopic truncheons, blowpipes, kusari gama, kyoketsu shoge, manrikigusari, sap gloves, and machetes.
Katanas or 'samurai swords' were added with effect from 1 September 2009, though there are some limited exceptions to the ban set out in the legislation. You can read the full text of the 1991 Order on offensive weapons here. and the 2009 amendment to it here.
The Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act 1990. prohibits the manufacture, importation, sale, hire or loan of offensive weapons and penalties of up to seven years imprisonment can apply.
- What are the laws on importing knives?
The only type of weapons prohibited for importation are those listed under the 1991 Order on offensive weapons and the 2009 amendment to it. This order includes flick knives and several types of disguised knives among other weapons. Other type of knives can be imported, however an individual could be charged for possession of same in public without a lawful reason as set out in Section 9 of the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act 1990.
- Are airsoft imitation firearms and other realistic replicas legal?
Airsoft imitation firearms with a muzzle energy of under one joule are not classed as firearms under the law and do not need to have a firearms certificate. Nor do other non-firing replicas. Recent legislation does make it an offence to possess a realistic imitation firearm in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse. The penalties include up to five years imprisonment.
- Can I import for sale realistic imitation firearms?
Section 40 of the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009. requires that a person who wants to import for sale realistic imitation firearms will have to register with this Department and meet certain standards
You can register your interest with the Firearms Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org. You should note that Section 40 (9D) has not yet been commenced.
You should read section 40 of the Act then click here for more information on pre-registering.