Written Answers. - Firearms Statistics.

Austin Deasy

Question:

30 Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Justice if he has a figure available of the number of illegally held guns in the State; and if he has any intention of introducing an amnesty for the handing up of such guns.

The very fact that firearms are held illegally precludes statistics being available of the number of such firearms. The only relevant statistics which are available relates to the number of firearms seized by the gardaí. Details of such seizures are contained in the Garda Commissioner's Annual Report on Crime, copies of which may be obtained in the Oireachtas Library.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that any information which comes to their attention in relation to the existence of illegally held firearms is thoroughly investigated. Where such weapons are found they are seized and, where appropriate, the matter is brought to the notice of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

I have no proposals to introduce an amnesty in this respect.