394. Deputy Gabrielle McFadden asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the average length of time it takes her Department to process import and export licences for non-military guns; the criteria required for an applicant to secure a continuous export licence; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13143/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): My Department takes, on average, 10 working days to issue an import / export licence for firearms. Firearms Dealers registered with my Department routinely apply for transfer documents / export licences to remove specific firearms from Ireland to another jurisdiction within the EU. The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation process applications to export firearms to Non EU countries.
The main legal provisions governing the export and removal of firearms from the State are Section 16 of the Firearms Act, 1925 and Regulation 6 of the EC ( Acquisition and Possession of Weapons and Ammunition) Regulations 1993, as amended. In effect, this means that a firearms dealer exporting firearms must obtain a removal order from the relevant Garda Superintendent for the specific firearms being removed and then an application can be made to my Department for a transfer document/ export licence. This requirement of a removal order applies to both specific export licences and a Continuous Export Licence (CEL). An application for a CEL is judged on its merits. A CEL is issued in exceptional circumstances to a very limited number of dealers who have high volumes of trade within the EU for a period not exceeding three years.