575. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Justice if she will review the criteria for the issue of firearms licensing. [44208/21]


Minister of State at the Department of Justice (Deputy James Browne): I wish to advise the Deputy that there are stringent controls under Irish legislation for the issuing of firearm certificates by An Garda Síochána and the conditions under which firearms can be held. There are severe penalties in place for firearm offences under the Firearms Acts.
A substantial review of firearms licensing, including consultation with the public, stakeholders and the relevant Oireachtas Committee, was undertaken in recent years. A number of measures identified as a result of this review are being progressed by my Department, including a ban on new licences for semi-automatic centre fire rifles. A recommendation to establish a Firearms Assessment and Appeals Authority, which would determine, on the basis of an objective assessment of all the issues, with safety of the public being paramount, whether particular forms of firearms may be licensed in the State, whether there should be any limit on the number of such firearms and what safety conditions might properly be applied to their licensing, is currently under examination by my Department.
The legislation regarding the regulation of firearm licensing continues to be reviewed on an ongoing basis.