Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (562)

Eamon Ryan

Question:

562. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to review the regulations on the number of firearms a person can own. [13906/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I wish to advise the Deputy that there are stringent controls under Irish legislation on the issue of firearm certificates by An Garda Síochána and the conditions under which firearms can be held. There are also severe penalties in place for firearms offences under the Firearms Acts.

While there is nothing in law that specifically limits the number of firearms a person can own, a person must apply to An Garda Síochána for a firearm certificate in respect of each individual firearm they wish to possess. Each application is assessed on its merits in accordance with law.

The conditions that an applicant for a firearm certificate must satisfy include:

- The individual has a good reason for requiring the firearm;

- The individual can be permitted to possess, use and carry the firearm without danger to the public safety or security or the peace;

- The individual is not a person declared under law to be disentitled to hold a firearm certificate (this includes a person sentenced to imprisonment for certain offences, a person of unsound mind, a person not ordinarily resident in the State for a period of six months before applying, amongst others);

- Where the firearm is a rifle or pistol to be used for target shooting, the individual is a member of an authorised rifle or pistol club;

- The individual has provided secure accommodation for the firearm.

S.I. No. 307/2009 - Firearms (Secure Accommodation) Regulations 2009 establishes the minimum secure accommodation required for firearm storage. A progressively higher minimum standard of security is required under the regulations where there are differing numbers of firearms stored at the same location.

The Garda Commissioner issues Guidelines as to the practical application and operation of the Firearms Acts 1925 to 2009. These Guidelines were last updated in September 2018.

In accordance with Section 3E of the Firearms Act 1925, as amended, the Garda Commissioner conducts an annual review of the operation of the Firearms Acts 1925 to 2009. This report is provided to the Minister and is laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

The legislation regarding the regulation of firearm licensing is reviewed on an ongoing basis.